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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Civil Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (M.S.C.E.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) has gained substantial popularity in new bridge construction and bridge deck replacement because it offers innovative construction techniques that result in time and cost savings when compared to traditional bridge construction practice. One technology commonly implemented in ABC to effectively execute its projects is the use of prefabricated bridge components (precast/prestressed bridge components). Precast/prestressed bridge components are fabricated offsite or near the site and then connected on-site using small volume closure pour connections. Diaphragms are also commonly used to strengthen the connection between certain prefabricated components used in ABC, such as beam elements. Bridges containing closure pour connections and diaphragms can be designed using AASHTO LRFD live-load distribution factor formulas under the condition that the bridge must be sufficiently connected. However, these formulas were developed using analytical models that did not account for the effects of closure pours and diaphragms on live-load distribution. This research study investigates live-load distribution characteristics of precast/prestressed concrete bridges with closure pour connections and diaphragms. The investigation was conducted using finite element bridge models with closure pour joints that were calibrated using experimental data and different configuration of diaphragms. The concrete material used for the closure pour connections was developed as part of a larger project intended to develop high early-strength concrete mixtures that specifically reach strength in only 12 hours, a critical requirement for ABC projects.


First Advisor

Sergio Brena

Second Advisor

Kara Peterman