Better Bridge Joint Technology Project
Funding Source: MassDOT and Federal Highway Administration
Title: Better Bridge Joint Technology Project
Date: April 2015 - September 2015
Summary: The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has recognized that bridge joints are a weak point in overall bridge performance. Most bridges have some type of joint which allows water to drain through from the deck to the substructure. This moisture drains down over the piers, pile caps, and other parts of the substructure and could lead to costly bridge deterioration. MassDOT has attempted to address the issue in part by reducing or eliminating bridge joints on newly constructed bridges. However, there is still the issue of how to address poor performance on existing bridge joints. The goal of this synthesis project is to determine the alternatives, costs, traffic impacts, and life expectancy of joint maintenance and retrofit options for bridge joints currently in use in Massachusetts. This study will review the contemporary literature on bridge joint maintenance or retrofit options and will survey all six New England state Departments of Transportation and other states of similar climate on bridge joint maintenance within their state. The final product will assist MassDOT in determining how to best maintain existing bridge joints.