Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering


Civil and Construction Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Upul Attanayake

Second Advisor

Dr. Haluk Aktan

Third Advisor

Dr. Yufeng Hu

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The use of decked precast prestressed concrete girders (DPPCG) is becoming popular in accelerated bridge construction. DPPCGs are assembled and connected on site using grout or concrete longitudinal connections. The durability performance of these connections is a concern. The objective of this research is to document the longitudinal connection behavior with respect to its design parameters, and establish a process for developing a standardized connection detail considering the demands due to live load and temperature gradient (TG) load. In order to demonstrate this process, decked bulb-tee and decked box-beam girders were considered. Finite element models, under various types and levels of loads and in conjunction with the design parameters, were used for evaluating the internal forces at connections. Structural analysis reveals that the TG load is significant and needs to be considered in connection design, and moment at connections increases when: (1) slab thickness increases, (2) bridge materials have greater strength and thermal properties, and (3) diaphragms have larger sections and smaller spacing. Structural design shows that (1) due to the TG moment, crack control criteria at service limit state governs the flexural design, and (2) tensile stress in steel in AASHTO (2012) eq. should have an upper limit to prevent steel from yielding.