Minnesota Department of Transportation
An increasing number of integral and semi-integral abutment bridges are being built in Minnesota. A standard E8 expansion joint consisting of a 4.5 in (114 mm) piece of foam filler placed in a 4 in (102 mm) wide opening is typically provided at the joint between the approach panel and pavement. This joint has not performed well often failing within a year of service. This research project was primarily a synthesis study of other states' practices for the expansion joint. A detailed study of the following agencies' practices was conducted: Wisconsin, South Dakota, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Kansas, and Ontario, Canada. There were substantial differences between all of the practices and none easily adaptable to Minnesota. For instance, Minnesota, unlike the other states studied, does not permit deck drains on its bridges for environmental reasons. Most of the agencies seemed satisfied with their current practices. Four out of the seven agencies used strip seals in one form or another. Only one (Iowa) still uses the same foam filler as Minnesota, although others had in the past. The Iowa detail involves doweled bars across the joint and a different approach slab detail. In order to measure the actual movement at the joints, sensors were installed on several bridges and recorded displacement and temperature for a period of one to two years.
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