2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal)

2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal) Conference

Small-movement expansion joints for road bridges – modern low-depth solutions that offer considerable benefits when installed on existing structures

Mr. Alexis Lauzon, Mageba
Mr. Borja Baillés, Mageba
Mr. Gianni Moor, Mageba
Mr. Danilo Della Ca, Mageba USA (Presenter)

A bridge’s expansion joints are typically replaced several times during the bridge’s service life, and a very large part of the life-cycle costs relating to a bridge’s expansion joints – particularly when considering indirect / consequential costs such as traffic disruption – is generated by these replacement works. Replacement of bridge expansion joints today still typically involves a significant amount of demolition and reconstruction of the bridge deck, but this can be avoided in many cases. For maintenance of the innumerable number of bridges around the world with low-movement expansion joints, installation-friendly expansion joint solutions such as the modern flexible plug joint with polyurethane (PU) surface, and the single gap joint with steel edge profiles bedded in polymer concrete, enable demolition and reconstruction of the connecting superstructure to be completely avoided. Since both of these expansion joint types can typically be installed within the depth of a structure’s road surfacing (e.g. asphalt or similar), installation of either type typically does not require partial breaking out of superstructure concrete or steel, or reconstruction thereof, and impacts on deck waterproofing can also be avoided. The old expansion joint is simply removed to the extent required to make space for the new joint, a suitable bedding surface is ensured/created as necessary, and the new joint is poured/installed. As well as minimizing impacts on the main structure, which is generally preferable and sometimes very important, and minimizing environmental impacts of the work, this greatly reduces the time required for the replacement project and thus minimizes the cost to the owner and disruption to traffic. These solutions shall be described with reference to examples of their use.