Design recommendations for CIP-PCP bridge decks
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Precast, prestressed concrete panels (PCPs) and cast-in-place (CIP) concrete slabs are commonly used in Texas and elsewhere. Because PCPs are placed between bridge girders, and CIP concrete slabs are cast over the PCPs, PCPs act as formwork, cost and time for construction can be reduced. However, current designs may be further optimized if it can be shown that the reinforcement in the CIP deck can be reduced. Another issue involves cracking of PCP during fabrication and transportation to the site. The goal of this dissertation is to recommend changes to the CIP-PCP bridge decks that will lead to more cost-effective bridges. The first phase of the research is to suggest an optimized reinforcement layout for cast-in-place (CIP) slabs. Because the capacity of these decks is much greater than the design loads, a decrease in top-mat reinforcement will have minimal effect on the margin of capacity over design loads. Two options were selected, reduced deformed-bar reinforcement; and reduced welded-wire reinforcement. These two options are evaluated through restrained-shrinkage tests and field applications. The second phase of this dissertation is to reduce cracks in precast, prestressed concrete panels (PCPs) which occur during fabrication, handling, and transportation. Most cracks in PCPs are collinear (occur along the strands). They can be reduced in two ways. The first is to reduce initial prestress. The second is to place additional transverse reinforcement at edges.