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Behavior and design of link slabs for jointless bridge decks

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1998-05-01
Maintenance of bridge deck joints is a costly problem. Debris accumulation in the joints can restrain deck expansion, causing undesirable forces in the deck and damage to the structure. Water leaking through the joints is a major cause for the deterioration of bridge girder bearings and supporting structures. Therefore, elimination of deck joints at the supports of multispan bridges will reduce the cost of construction and maintenance. This paper presents the results of a test program to investigate the behavior of link slabs connecting two adjacent simple-span girders, and proposes a simple method fbr designing the link slab. To illustrate the proposed design method, three design examples are included.