Inspecting the lightweight precast concrete panels in the Woodrow Wilson bridge deck of 1982

Benjamin Z. Dymond, Susan E. Bowers, Carin L. Roberts-Wollmann, Thomas E. Cousins, Andrea J. Schokker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper presents the results of a detailed inspection of the deck panels of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge installed in 1982. The original cast-in-place concrete deck, constructed in 1962, was replaced with full-depth lightweight precast concrete deck panels that enabled rapid construction with minimal traffic disruption. The inspection of the Woodrow Wilson deck provides valuable information about the performance of the precast concrete panels, joints, and connections after 20 years of very harsh traffic loads and environmental stressors. The deck panels performed well overall, with the only serious problems at expansion and contraction joints. All of these joints exhibited cracking and rusting. The most prevalent type of cracking appeared to be due to restrained shrinkage between the new polymer concrete, the older precast panels, and the rigid steel joints. This location is more vulnerable to cracking and leaking because there is no prestress across the joint. The multilayered corrosion protection methods used for the transverse and longitudinal post-tensioning tendons were very successful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-390
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Performance of Constructed Facilities
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2009


  • Bridge decks
  • Bridges, highway
  • Inspection
  • Lightweight concrete
  • Maryland
  • Panels
  • Post-tensioned concrete
  • Precast concrete
  • Virginia


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