Document Type



Civil Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Amir Mirmiran

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Ton-Lo Wang

Third Advisor's Name

Girma Bitsuamlak

Fourth Advisor's Name

Syed M. Ahmed


Bridge, Deck, UHPC, FRP, Aluminum, Ultra high performance concrete, lightweight deck, moveable bridges

Date of Defense



Most of the moveable bridges use open grid steel decks, because these are factory assembled, light-weight, and easy to install. Open grid steel decks, however, are not as skid resistant as solid decks. Costly maintenance, high noise levels, poor riding comfort and susceptibility to vibrations are among the other disadvantages of these decks. The major objective of this research was to develop alternative deck systems which weigh no more than 25 lb/ft2, have solid riding surface, are no more than 4-5 in. thick and are able to withstand prescribed loading. Three deck systems were considered in this study: ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) deck, aluminum deck and UHPC-fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) tube deck.

UHPC deck was the first alternative system developed as a part of this project. Due to its ultra high strength, this type of concrete results in thinner sections, which helps satisfy the strict self-weight limit. A comprehensive experimental and analytical evaluation of the system was carried out to establish its suitability. Both single and multi-unit specimens with one or two spans were tested for static and dynamic loading. Finite element models were developed to predict the deck behavior. The study led to the conclusion that the UHPC bridge deck is a feasible alternative to open grid steel deck.

Aluminum deck was the second alternative system studied in this project. A detailed experimental and analytical evaluation of the system was carried out. The experimental work included static and dynamic loading on the deck panels and connections. Analytical work included detailed finite element modeling. Based on the in-depth experimental and analytical evaluations, it was concluded that aluminum deck was a suitable alternative to open grid steel decks and is ready for implementation.

UHPC-FRP tube deck was the third system developed in this research. Prestressed hollow core decks are commonly used, but the proposed type of steel-free deck is quite novel. Preliminary experimental evaluations of two simple-span specimens, one with uniform section and the other with tapered section were carried out. The system was shown to have good promise to replace the conventional open grid decks. Additional work, however, is needed before the system is recommended for field application.





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