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Case Study on Aggregate Interlock Capacity for the Shear Assessment of Cracked Reinforced-Concrete Bridge Cross Sections

We recently published a paper on a case study we did on an existing bridge in 2010/2011. The paper is published in the Journal of Bridge Engineering, and can be accessed through this link.

The abstract of the paper is as follows:

A 55-year-old bridge showed large cracking in the approach bridge caused by restraint of deformation and support settlement. After repair, it was uncertain at which crack width the traffic loads on the bridge should be further restricted. The shear capacity was calculated by counting on the aggregate interlock capacity of a supposedly fully cracked cross section. An aggregate interlock relationship between shear capacity and crack width based on an unreinforced section was used to find the maximum allowable crack width. Limits for crack widths at which load restrictions should be imposed were found. The large structural capacity of the cracked concrete section shows that the residual bearing resistance based on the aggregate interlock capacity of reinforced concrete slab bridges with existing cracks is higher than expected. This expected capacity could be calculated with the inclined cracking load from the code provisions. The procedure outlined in this paper can thus be used for the shear assessment of fully cracked cross sections of reinforced concrete bridges.

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