team photo

Team 18

Team Members

Faculty Advisor

Victoria Ramirez
Matthew Stapell
Cameron Swanson
Erik Mihok

Richard Christenson


Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT)

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Structural Design of UHPC Encased Steal Beam Ends

Traditional bridge beam end diaphragms are connected perpendicular to the bridge beams web through weld to a bearing stiffener. The issue with the current design is primarily with the steel bearing stiffener itself. Due to the material properties of steel, it undergoes rusting when exposed to water and air which is not ideal for structures that are exposed to air and water daily. Processes have been developed such as metalizing, galvanizing, and even painting to prevent rust from forming on steel members. However, each of those three processes require costly routine maintenance to ensure the structural integrity of bridges. Our team has been tasked with developing a modern approach to replacing steel bearing stiffeners at bridge beam ends with ultra high performance concrete (UHPC) columns. UHPC offers many advantages. First and foremost is its increased compressive strength over traditional concrete. Although it may cost more to procure than the concrete currently used, the amount saved annually will quickly offset the initial cost. UHPC is also highly workable which allows it to flow more easily making the section less porous and more resistant to the environment.