Implementing Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) with Dowel Bars in Longitudinal Joints (Shear Key) in an Adjacent Box Beam Bridge

Authors: , ,


Adjacent precast prestressed box beam bridges are widely used in the United States for medium and short spans due to ease of construction, economics, and low profile. However, the longitudinal connections between adjacent box beams (shear keys) tend to crack. The cracking allows leakage of water carrying corrosive road salts between the joints, which can accelerate corrosion of the beams’ reinforcement. Cracking of the joints may also reduce load transfer between beams. Different grouted materials and shear key configurations combined with transverse post-tensioning with or without a composite deck have been employed to reduce cracking. However, some adjacent box beam bridges still exhibit longitudinal cracks in the shear keys. In this research, a new partial depth shear key configuration grouted with ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) and equally spaced dowel bars were used for the longitudinal connections. No transverse tie bars or intermediate diaphragms were utilized. This first adjacent box beam bridge in the USA containing UHPC shear keys and transverse dowel bars was constructed in the summer of 2014 in Fayette County, Ohio. The bridge was instrumented and monitored. This paper presents the static truck load testing results of the shear keys and the dowel bars. Finite element modeling was also created and calibrated with the field data. The UHPC connection with dowel bars performed satisfactory in load transfer with no cracking in longitudinal connection to date.

Keywords: UHPC, finite element modeling, shear keys connection, adjacent box-beams, dowel bars

How to Cite: Semendary, A. A. , Steinberg, E. P. & Walsh, K. K. (2016) “Implementing Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) with Dowel Bars in Longitudinal Joints (Shear Key) in an Adjacent Box Beam Bridge”, International Interactive Symposium on Ultra-High Performance Concrete. 1(1). doi: