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Toward Performance Based Specifications for Concrete Bridges

Description:

Currently used specifications for the design and construction of concrete bridges are prescriptive specifications that define the required parameters and their minimum acceptance levels for a specific structural system. This methodology is based on certain assumptions and is designed to produce structures for a certain service life. For example, adhering to the AASHTO LRFD specifications in the design will produce a concrete bridge with minimum 75-year service life expectancy. This concrete bridge will meet certain (may be undefined) maintenance and life cycle cost criteria.

On the other hand, Performance Based Specification (PBS) will determine the required design criteria’s parameters such service life, durability, life cycle costs etc. and the minimum acceptance levels for these parameters. PBS allows alternate methodologies for meeting the acceptance levels. When using PBS, the prescriptive specifications will become the methodology for achieving these acceptance levels.

Performance Based Specifications will serve alternative contracting methods such as design-build very well by allowing innovative designs and materials to produce the desired outcomes of longer service life, more durable bridges at lower life cycle costs. PBS will also allow regional and local design and construction variations that will produce the most economical design that meets the performance requirements.

The purpose of this research is to establish a matrix of the following:

1- Design criteria parameters

2- Performance levels for each parameter

3- Methodologies for meeting these performance levels

4- Recommend roadmap and framework required for the development of complete Performance Based Specifications.

This research statement meets the strategic plan of the AASHTO T-10 Technical Committee on Concrete.

Objective:

The objective of this research is to establish the design criteria and recommend the roadmap and framework required for the Development of complete Performance Based Specifications. The research will involve the following tasks:

Benefits:

Fully developed AASHTO Performance Based Specifications will facilitate and encourage innovations in the design and construction of concrete bridges. These innovations will enhance the performance of concrete bridges and lower the life cycles costs.

The performance Specifications will be used in design build projects

Related Research:

The literature search produced few related studies but none of them accomplishes the tasks required in this statements. One noteworthy is: Ramirez. J. A, PERFORMANCE-RELATED SPECIFICATIONS OF CONCRETE BRIDGE SUPERSTRUCTURES, FHWA/IN/JTRP- 2001/8.

Other research covered performance specification for one material such as High Performance Concrete or Performance based specification for concrete for bridge decks.

Tasks:

The research will involve the following tasks:

1- Literature Search: This task is to conduct national and international literature search on this topic to determine the required design criteria, the acceptance levels and the methodologies.

2- Research the potential design criteria, the acceptance levels and the methodologies.

3- Develop list of potential methodologies that meet the acceptance levels (a minimum one method for each parameter in the design criteria).

4- Develop a list of required research to complete the specifications.

5- Develop recommendations for the development of complete performance based specifications for concrete bridge.

Implementation:

Fully developed AASHTO Performance Based Specifications will facilitate and encourage innovations in the design and construction of concrete bridges. These innovations will enhance the performance of concrete bridges and lower the life cycles costs.

The performance Specifications will be used in design build projects

Relevance:

This research statement meets the strategic plan of the AASHTO T-10 Technical Committee on Concrete.

Sponsoring Committee:AFF30, Concrete Bridges
Research Period:12 - 24 months
Research Priority:High
RNS Developer:Sam Fallaha, P.E.
Source Info:AFF30 Committee Chair
Date Posted:03/06/2018
Date Modified:04/20/2018
Index Terms:Performance based specifications, Concrete bridges, Bridge design, Performance measurement,
Cosponsoring Committees: 
Subjects    
Highways
Construction
Design
Bridges and other structures

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