NCHRP Project 10-72
Bridge Deck Design Criteria and Testing Procedures
The main objective of this survey is to broadly assess the current inventory, current design procedures,
and general performance factors considered in the selection of bridge decks. Please see the notes for
completing this survey on Page 2 prior to beginning.
City: State: Zip:
Phone: ( ) - ext: Fax: ( ) - ext:
For any brief follow-up questions, I would prefer to communicate by:
Please return the completed questionnaire by December 8th to:
Dr. Robert J. Connor
School of Civil Engineering
550 Stadium Mall Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2051
Office: (765) 496-8272
Fax: (765) 494-2232
We welcome the opportunity to discuss any matters related to this survey with you on the
telephone. If you have any questions, comments, or can provide any additional information related to
bridge deck performance that is not identified in the questionnaire, please do not hesitate to call Robert
Connor at (765) 496-8272.
Note that this survey may also be downloaded from the following web site,
http://cobweb.ecn.purdue.edu/~rconnor/, completed electronically, and submitted to Robert
Connor at email@example.com.
Deck elements of highway bridges are important components for an efficient highway
system. Robust performance of these components over the long-term is critical for smooth daily
traffic operations as well as adequate bridge system performance during extreme events. Failure of
bridge deck systems results in direct economic costs associated with maintenance, repair, and
replacement, and may potentially threaten life safety. Further costs include traffic delays to the
motoring public, environmental impacts of energy consumption, and generation of construction and
Causes of deck system failures range from load induced fatigue due to primary stresses to
degradation of the deck materials or components in an unreasonably short service life. A key issue
associated with decks, in comparison to other superstructure components, is the direct application of
wheel loads to the elements, producing millions of strain cycles. Poorly designed and detailed deck
components can therefore accumulate damage very quickly. For this same reason, demands on the
deck can vary dramatically from site to site, depending upon the local traffic conditions.
Presently, there are no recognized uniform national specifications for the design,
performance, or construction installation of deck systems. As has been previously demonstrated
with many other bridge components, in the absence of specifications, the lowbid process often
results in less durable products because manufacturers design, fabricate, and install components
to achieve the lowest initial cost. This can be especially true for proprietary systems for which
open source information is lacking and fair comparisons cannot be made with alternatives.
The objectives of NCHRP Project 10-72 are to determine the critical performance factors
and design criteria that affect durability, strength, and design of deck systems. The results of an
analytical study will be coupled with experimental, full-scale testing to develop testing protocols,
and rational design criteria for various deck systems.
Notes for Completing this Questionnaire
This survey should be completed by the individual within your Agency who is most
experienced in the design, maintenance, and inspection of bridge decks. If you do not feel that
you fit this description, please forward this questionnaire to the appropriate individual within
your Agency. Please note that our intent is to follow up with certain specific questions based on
your response to this survey.
Please feel free to supplement with sketches, drawings, photographs, inspection reports,
or any other information that you feel will clarify your responses.
Part 1 – General Deck Inventory
The intent of this section is to gather general information on your Agency’s bridge deck inventory.
However, even if your inventory does not include a particular deck type, please still complete columns
2 and 5 in the table below to the best of your ability.
(1) (3) (4) (5)
Estimated (2) Current Does Your Does or Would (6)
Relative Percent Anticipated Design Agency Require ADTT Affect Perf.
of Total Deck Design Life Methodology/ Additional Your Decision Grade
Area (years) Specifications Performance to Use this (A-F)4
(%)1 Used2 Specifications?3 Deck Type?
Cast-In-Place, Yes Yes
(CIP) Concrete No No
1. Slab on Steel
Girders: Yes Yes
(Sandwich and No No
2. Self Supporting:
Fully Filled Grid Yes Yes
Deck No No
Open Steel Grid Yes Yes
Deck No No
Orthotropic Steel Yes Yes
Plate No No
Partially Filled Yes Yes
Grid Deck No No
Precast with Yes Yes
Concrete Overlay No No
Total Square Feet of Bridge Deck in
1. The intent of this question is to gain insight into the relative proportions of different deck types within a given
Agency‟s inventory. It is recognized that this information may not be compiled or readily available. As a result,
your best estimate based on your experience is requested. The summation of this column should equal 100
2. The prescribed design specification followed during the design of the given deck type.
3. The intent of this question is to determine if your Agency has developed or used any additional specifications
(other than the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications) to try to enhance the performance of the particular
4. The intent of this question is to gain insight into your Agency‟s general level of satisfaction with the performance
of each deck type on a grading scale of A, B, C, D, and F, with „A‟ being “Excellent” and „F‟ being
“Unacceptable”. If your inventory does not include a certain deck type, please leave this field blank.
Part 2 – General Bridge Deck Performance Factors
The intent of this section is to determine the performance factors that are most important to
your Agency when selecting a bridge deck type.
Rate the importance of each factor considered Importance Level
during the design of a bridge deck by checking the 1 This Factor is Very Important
appropriate box below. Additionally, if needed, 2 This Factor is Important
there are three spaces provided for factors not 3 Sometimes this Factor is Important
4 This Factor is Rarely Considered Important
represented in the list.
5 This Factor is Never Considered at All
Factor Importance Level
Acoustic Transmission: (Tire / deck road noise) 1 2 3 4 5
Appearance: (Overall aesthetics) 1 2 3 4 5
Availability of Material: 1 2 3 4 5
Compatibility of Wearing Surface: (Bond strength) 1 2 3 4 5
Constructability: (Ease of construction) 1 2 3 4 5
Corrosion Resistance: 1 2 3 4 5
Deflection: 1 2 3 4 5
Durability: 1 2 3 4 5
Ease of Fabrication: 1 2 3 4 5
Ease of Demolition: 1 2 3 4 5
Ease of Repair: 1 2 3 4 5
Ease of Retrofit: 1 2 3 4 5
Expansion of Roadway: (Ability to accommodate widening) 1 2 3 4 5
Expected Design Life: 1 2 3 4 5
Fatigue Resistance: 1 2 3 4 5
Fire Resistance: 1 2 3 4 5
Future Maintenance Cost: 1 2 3 4 5
Impact Resistance: 1 2 3 4 5
Initial Cost: 1 2 3 4 5
Rideability: (Resistance to grooving, etc.) 1 2 3 4 5
Skid Resistance: 1 2 3 4 5
Stiffness: 1 2 3 4 5
Strength to Weight Ratio: 1 2 3 4 5
Vibration: 1 2 3 4 5
1. 1 2 3 4 5
2. 1 2 3 4 5
3. 1 2 3 4 5
What factor is the most important in selection of a bridge deck? What factor is the least
important? Please explain.
Most Important Factor:
Least Important Factor:
Please provide any additional comments.
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to complete and return this survey.