Montana Department of Transportation

Malcolm “Mack” Long, Director


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Bridge Deck Cracking Evaluation

Bridge Desk image

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) noted severe cracking on two bridge decks in the spring of 2016, which led to holes in the decks after small sections of concrete fell through. MDT hired a consultant to investigate the cause of the cracks and provide recommendations. The consultant’s report was published in April 2017. Some, but not all, of the recommendations were implemented and proved successful in reducing early age cracking in new bridge decks. Although MDT had success with implementation, documentation of actual in-field procedures was not sufficient. It was determined that improved methods to document in-field procedures and specification enforcement are needed, as well as a methodology to determine which recommendations are resulting in successful outcomes. In this project, researchers will gather data and summarize information from the previous deck pours that applied the recommendations contained in the April 2017 report. Data on new deck pours will be gathered and documented, including an assessment of temperature and stress gradients with modified deck curing; modeling will be used to demonstrate the benefit of modified curing on deck stresses and cracking risk. This project's final report is expected to include recommendations that can be quickly implemented on future projects.

For more information, contact , 802-546-0217.