Transverse cracking of concrete bridge decks: Effects of design factors

M. Ala Saadeghvaziri, Rambod Hadidi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Early transverse cracking is one of the dominant forms of bridge deck defects experienced by a large number of transportation agencies. These cracks often initiate soon after the bridge deck is constructed, and they are caused by restrained shrinkage of concrete. Transverse cracks increase the maintenance cost of a bridge structure and reduce its life span. Most of the past efforts addressing transverse bridge deck cracking have focused on changes over the years in concrete material properties and construction practices. However, recent studies have shown the importance of design factors on transverse bridge deck cracking. This paper presents results of a comprehensive finite-element (FE) study of deck and girder bridge systems to understand and evaluate crack patterns, stress histories, as well as the relative effect of different design factors such as structural stiffness on transverse deck cracking. The results of this study demonstrate the development of transverse deck cracking and emphasize the importance of these design factors. They also recommend preventive measures that can be adopted during the design stage in order to minimize the probability of transverse deck cracking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-519
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bridge Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


  • Bridge decks
  • Bridge design
  • Bridges, concrete
  • Cracking
  • Finite element method
  • Shrinkage


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