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


Orthotropic plate, longitudinal cracking, finite element, adjacent box-beam bridge, equivalent material properties

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Reflective cracking over the longitudinal joints of adjacent box-beam bridges is a welldocumented and recurrent problem; it is a concern because it leads to poor durability performance. These cracks develop during early stages of bridge construction and have not been eliminate by the design revisions implemented so far.

This study is aimed at developing a rational load demand analysis model for calculating the moment acting at the longitudinal joints in order to determine the impact of post-tensioning on mitigating reflective cracking.

The scope of the study includes calculating moment demand at the shear keys using a rational analysis model based on composite materials and mechanics of materials, and determining the post-tensioning required to eliminate tensile stresses developed at the shear keys due to static loading. Additionally, concrete shrinkage will be modeled in ABAQUS to allow consideration of volume change loading.

The results of this study show that volume change loads cause the initiation of reflective cracking and current post-tensioning practice is insufficient to mitigate reflective cracking. Moment demand at longitudinal joints and corresponding required transverse post-tensioning is also presented for several static loading scenarios.