Jinying Zhu, G Morcous
Nebraska DOT, FHWA
Bridge decks, Concrete bridges, Cracking, Creep, Design load, Nondestructive tests, Service life, Shrinkage, Superstructures
Prestressed/precast concrete girders are the most widely used superstructure system in highway bridges in Nebraska. Recently, the use of prestressed/precast concrete for deck construction have gained considerable attention of state officials to accelerate bridge construction and reduce maintenance cost. In all prestressed concrete systems, loss of prestress occurs immediately after production due to elastic shortening and during construction and operation due to shrinkage and creep of concrete and relaxation of prestressing steel, which are inevitable time-dependent phenomena. All of these effects reduce the pre-compression of the tension fibers of the concrete component and could significantly affect the component performance under service loads resulting in frequent cracking.