Documentation of the Rapid Replacement of Four GDOT Bridge Decks
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The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) has many interstate bridges near downtown Birmingham which have good substructures and superstructures, but suffer from significant deck cracking and deterioration. The bridges carry tremendous volumes of traffic with no good detouring routes and thus present a need for rapid bridge deck replacement. The ALDOT plans to place a field “test bridge” in the near future that utilizes four different rapid bridge deck replacement systems to determine the most efficient option for the Birmingham bridge decks. The objectives of this research were to monitor and document the rapid bridge deck replacement work of the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) on two bridges in Gainesville, GA and two bridges in the Atlanta, GA area, and to identify design and construction problem areas and corrective actions that should eliminate these problems in future rapid deck replacements. In doing so, some of the problems and pitfalls of rapid bridge deck replacement via the use of precast Exodermic deck panels were identified. Documentation of the actual GDOT work included a time sequence, deck replacement square footage per work period, total construction time, typical nightly construction tasks, photographic display/discussion of the deck replacement and deck overlay work, and identification of design and construction problem areas. The precast Exodermic deck panel system used by the GDOT provided an excellent means for rapid bridge deck replacement while under stage construction/concurrent traffic conditions. The GDOT work was completed within the imposed time limits while maintaining minimum traffic interruption. Identification of problem areas encountered while monitoring the rapid bridge deck replacement work offer potential improvements for future bridge deck replacement projects that employ precast Exodermic deck panels. It is recommended that the ALDOT employ the precast Exodermic deck panels as one of the replacement systems on its “test bridge” in Collinsville, AL with the suggested design and/or construction improvement ideas presented in this report. It is also recommended that the ALDOT employ unfilled Exodermic deck panels with a rapid-setting cast-in-place (CIP) concrete topping as one of the test systems on its “test bridge”.