Transverse cracking in concrete bridge decks

Catherine French, Laurice Eppers, Quoc Le, Jerome F. Hajjar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The dominant parameters that lead to premature transverse cracking in bridge decks are determined, and recommendations to reduce cracking tendency in bridge decks are developed. The project is divided into two parts: a field study and a parametric study. The objective of the field study is to determine the correlation between the observed cracking and available design-, material-, and construction-related data. Seventy-two bridges in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area are included in the field study. According to the results of the study and correlation with other research, restrained concrete deck shrinkage is the leading cause of cracking. The dominant factors affecting transverse cracking are the longitudinal end restraint, girder stiffness, cross-frame location, splice location, deck thickness, cutoff length of the deck supplemental reinforcing bar, size of the top transverse bar, concrete shrinkage, deck concrete modulus of elasticity, cement content, aggregate type and quantity, air content, and ambient air temperature at deck placement. Recommended practical improvements to bridge deck construction include reducing the shrinkage of the deck concrete through mix design or better curing practices and minimizing deck restraint.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-29
Number of pages9
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1688
StatePublished - 1999


Dive into the research topics of 'Transverse cracking in concrete bridge decks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this