Development and Evaluation of an Adhesively Bonded Panel-to-Panel Joint for a Fiber-reinforced Polymer Bridge Deck System

Report No: 07-CR14

Published in 2007

About the report:

A fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite cellular deck system was used to rehabilitate a historical cast iron thru-truss structure (Hawthorne Street Bridge in Covington, Virginia). The most important characteristic of this application is reduction in self-weight, which raises the live load-carrying capacity of the bridge by replacing the existing concrete deck with an FRP deck. This bridge is designed to an HL-93 load and has a 75-ft clear span with a roadway width of 22 ft. The panel-to-panel connections were accomplished using full width, adhesively (structural urethane adhesive) bonded tongue and groove splices with scarfed edges. To ensure proper construction, serviceability, and strength of the splice, a full-scale two-bay section of the bridge with three adhesively bonded panel-to-panel connections was constructed and tested in the Structures Laboratory at Virginia Tech. Test results showed that no crack initiated in the joints under service load and no significant change in stiffness or strength of the joint occurred after 3,000,000 cycles of fatigue loading. The proposed adhesive bonding technique was installed in the bridge in August 2006.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Zihong Liu, Prasun K. Majumdar, Thomas E. Cousins, John J. Lesko, Jose P. Gomez, Ph.D., P.E.

Last updated: November 25, 2023

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