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High skew link slab bridge system with deck sliding over backwall or backwall sliding over abutments : part I.
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    Final report; 2008-2011.
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  • Abstract:
    A new bridge design and construction trend to help improve durability and rideability is to remove expansion

    joints over piers and abutments. One approach to achieve this is to make the deck continuous over the piers by

    means of a link slab while the girders remain simply supported. The need to implement link slabs is indicated

    by AASHTO LRFD section which requires using a minimum number of expansion joints to improve

    rideability. Further, due to durability concerns associated with bridge deck joints, it is preferred to have a least

    number of joints or develop jointless decks. The expansion joints over the abutments can be removed by one of

    three methods: deck sliding over back wall, semi-integral abutments, and integral abutments. This results in

    expansion joints at either or both ends of the approaches. The design concerns other than link slab include

    backwall and wing-wall design and bearing movement. The behavior of a jointless bridge brings about many

    challenges to bridge designers. The complexity is augmented when skew is involved.

    This report complements an earlier report based on previous research on Combining Link Slab, Deck Sliding

    Over Backwall and Revising Bearings (Aktan et al., 2008) where the behavior of straight and moderately skew

    (skew < 200) link slab bridges were investigated and design recommendations were developed. This report

    describes the behavior and performance of high skew (skew > 200) jointless bridges with link slabs and two

    abutment configurations. These abutment configurations are deck sliding over backwall and backwall sliding

    over abutments (i.e. semi-integral abutments).

    Four tasks were performed in this project. The first task was to review and synthesize information related to the

    behavior, performance, design, and analysis of skew bridges. The second task was field assessment of skew

    bridge behavior under static truck loads and thermal loads. The third task was analytical and numerical analysis

    of skew link slabs. The final task was analytical and numerical analysis of skew sliding deck over backwall

    systems and semi-integral abutments.

    Design recommendations are developed based on literature, field assessment data analysis, finite element

    modeling, and subsequent simulations of the numerous models developed in this project. One recommendation

    deals with the skew link slab design and the remaining recommendations are for bearing selection and selection

    and design of a transverse restraint system at abutments of skew link slab bridges.

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