Graduation Year

2004

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.C.E.

Degree Granting Department

Civil Engineering

Major Professor

Rajan Sen

Keywords

deficiencies, prestress, trends, rating, inspection

Abstract

During the mid 70's and early 80's, several precast deck panel bridges were constructed in Florida. These utilize prestressed precast panels as stay-in-place forms and are designed to act compositely with a cast-in-place deck which is poured subsequently. Such bridges offer advantages of quicker construction and lower costs. However, several such bridges built in Florida developed extensive cracking and spalling. Following localized failures, the Florida Department of Transportation have decided to replace all 127 precast panel deck bridges in Districts 1 and 7. Since deck replacement is contingent on funding, it is necessary to develop a rational procedure to decide the order in which they are replaced. This work describes the calibration of a software program developed to assist in the replacement prioritization of panel bridges. Prioritization is based on information available with FDOT in the form of biannual inspection reports over the past 20+ years.

A new computer language called BRAILE ( BRidge Annual Inspection LanguagE) was developed to input the data from the inspection reports. A compute program PANEL was used to process the BRAILE data to identify trends that could be used to assign weights to observed deficiencies. The prioritization developed based on the method presented here was found to correctly identify high risk bridges and was reliable than one based solely on National Bridge Inventory (NBI) condition rating.

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