Penn State researchers are conducting a study to identify the key factors that are contributing to premature bridge deck cracking.
Penn State Penn State researchers are conducting a study to identify the key factors that are contributing to premature bridge deck cracking.

Until now, only a limited amount of information has been available as to how premature cracking truly affects long-term performance of bridge decks. In order to improve this deficiency, researchers conducted a comprehensive two-part study.

First, they sent a survey to 71 key PennDOT employees representing the design, construction, bridge inspection, and materials units. The survey's objective was to collect and document details about the experience of PennDOT employees with early-age cracking as it relates to long-term bridge deck performance.

Second, inspection data from both newly constructed and older concrete bridge decks was collected and analyzed. The team inspected 40 existing concrete bridge decks and obtained 19 core samples that were extracted from the decks and analyzed at Penn State laboratories. In addition, PennDOT crack inspections from 163 newly constructed bridge decks were also summarized and analyzed.

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