Investigation of Shear Distribution Factors in Prestressed Concrete Girder Bridges

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  09/30/2016


Results showed that shear forces for some bridges are not as high as predicted by current AASHTO distribution factors, at least partially explaining why some MnDOT bridges with low shear ratings show no signs of distress. The researchers also found that the barriers did not significantly affect girder shear distribution and that both diaphragms and barriers could be ignored for the sake of calculating live load distribution. They provided recommendations for more refined methods of evaluating prestressed concrete girder bridges that rate low for shear, and developed a screening tool to identify which bridges that rate low for shear should be further analyzed to more accurately determine their anticipated shear demand.

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