Bridge decks need joints. Without them, decks are vulnerable to thermal stresses that will induce cracking and, ultimately, failure. But if the seals fail, the joints give water, deicing chemicals and debris a path to attack the underlying structure.

Article describes a new system that acts as flashing to direct and collect the flow of any water that gets through the joint seal. The system consists of two plates, a deflector plate and a collector plate, which are installed on opposite sides of the joint. A compression seal is installed above the system. The deflector plate directs any water and deicing chemicals that leak through the joint seal into the collector. The collector plate catches all of the water and chemicals, preventing them from reaching the bridge components. Unlike conventional joint systems, this system is not connected to both sides of the joint. The two components are separated and free to move independently, which prevents the buildup of stress as the joint opens and closes.