Bridges

Cover of Bridge Deck Expansion Joints: A Comparison of Technical and Selection Requirements, Including Consideration of Life Cycle Costs and a Review of Commercially Available Products within Australia and New Zealand
Bridge Deck Expansion Joints: A Comparison of Technical and Selection Requirements, Including Consideration of Life Cycle Costs and a Review of Commercially Available Products within Australia and New Zealand
  • Publication no: ABC2017-086-17
  • Published: 21 April 2017

Modern bridge design and construction places ever greater demands on engineers, materials and components. One of the most demanding parts of a bridge is the expansion joint. The selection of an appropriate expansion joint is crucial to minimising the life cycle cost of the bridge for asset owners and managers. Recent proposed revisions to AS5100.4 and revisions to various road authority requirements have meant expansion joint design and selection criteria have become more stringent and well-defined. AS5100.4 and roading authorities in Australia and New Zealand specify requirements for the use of expansion joint with some authorities having more stringent requirements than others based on their individual experiences.

This paper compares the various roading authority requirements, reviews expansion joint selection criteria, the reasons for the use of different types of expansion joints, and compares technical requirements for the following common types of bridge deck expansion joints: modular expansion joints, finger type expansion joints, and single seal (strip seal) type expansion joints. The paper also presents a broad review comparing commercially available expansion joints in Australia and New Zealand, reviewing general compliance with the latest requirements.

Conclusions are made about the types of commercially available expansion joints with respect to the selection and technical requirements. Recommendations are made for asset owners, engineers, and specifiers to allow them to make informed decisions on the type of expansion joint to be used, by identifying the best available expansion joint, with the aim of minimising the total life cycle cost of a bridge.