WJE 50 Years
Transver se Crack i ng i n Newl y Cons t ruc ted Conc rete Br i dge Decks
This comprehensive study identified the factors involved in the concrete materials, design details, and construction practices that influence the occurrence
of early transverse cracking in bridge decks. The work included a thorough review of research to date, field monitoring of temperatures and stresses
during construction, development of laboratory procedures to test the cracking tendency of concrete mixes, and parameter analyses.
The research findings of NCHRP 12-37 were published in
NCHRP Report 380, Transverse Cracking in Newly Constructed Bridge Decks
included guidelines for materials and construction practices to minimize potential cracking. The report also provided guidelines for selection of
concrete materials and construction practices that reduce or eliminate the occurrence of cracking in new concrete. NCHRP Report 380 remains
a primary research reference today.
Notes of Interest
• Instrumentation of the bridge deck included a computer-
controlled data acquisition system that monitored strain in
the concrete deck with concrete embedment gages; strain
gages mounted on the surface; and instruments to monito
wind speed, temperature, humidity, and solar conditions,
as well as radiation. The computer was connected to a
modem for downloading data to a remote site for data
analysis and reduction.
• Administered by the Transportation Research Board and
sponsored by the member departments of the American
Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
(AASHTO), in cooperation with the Federal Highway
Administration, the National Cooperative Highway
Research Program (NCHRP) was created in 1962 as a
means to conduct research in acute problem areas that
affect highway planning, design, construction, operation,
and maintenance nationwide.