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Evaluation of Asphalt Bridge Deck Joint Systems.
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    Asphaltic Plug Joint is an expansion joint that is used for new and rehabilitated bridges. It provides a smooth and watertight surface free of debris; and offers simple, easy and staged construction. Asphaltic plug joint can be repaired segmentally and it is cheaper than most other expansion joint types. The durability and performance of asphaltic plug joints depend greatly on the temperature variations. In high temperatures APJs are susceptible to rutting, heaving, and delamination. In low temperatures, asphaltic plug joint area may develop spalling, pot holes, debonding and exposure of metal plate. Recently, over 25% of NDOT District III bridges have experimented failure of their newly constructed asphaltic plug joints. This premature failure has been observed to be predominantly in bridges having high movement decks (over 2 inches). While designed for 5 to 8 years of service, those deck joints need significant maintenance within six months of service. In an attempt to address the problems encountered with the NDOT bridge deck asphaltic plug joints, this investigation intended to: (1) assess the condition and the extent of the problems associated with the asphaltic plug joints placed in the three NDOT districts; (2) compile available published and unpublished information, and to conduct a national survey to all departments of transportation; and (3) analyze the compiled relevant information and data, and to offer recommendations regarding quantifiable design parameters which can be used for proper construction of asphaltic plug joints. Properly selected materials, sound designs, viable construction methods, and maintenance strategies can lead to attaining improved bridge deck systems that can meet a set of performance criteria, as well as result in cost saving. The information presented in this report should assist NDOT in dealing with premature failure of asphaltic plug joints.

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