Endurance of deck-to-deck connections in transverse hardwood glulam decks

Vincent D. LaCross, Harvey B. Manbeck, Ray W. Witmer, Jeffrey A. Laman, John J. Janowiak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Dowel and stiffener beam deck-to-deck connections transfer shear and moment between hardwood glued-laminated (glulam) transverse deck panels in longitudinal timber bridges. The connections resist relative deflections between the deck panels and aid in the prevention of reflexive cracking of the bituminous wearing surface at panel joints. Cyclic loading can reduce the stiffness of some types of deck-to-deck connections resulting in shortened service life. The performance of dowel and stiffener beam deck-to-deck connections for hardwood glulam transverse panel bridge decks was evaluated during cyclic loading. Five tests were conducted with steel dowel connected deck panels, and five tests were conducted with glulam stiffener beam connected deck panels. Each connection was subjected to 1,000,000 load cycles. Degradation of connector stiffness with increasing number of load cycles was determined. Stiffener beam connections had better cyclic load response than the steel dowel connections. Steel dowel connections experienced approximately 20% degradation of stiffness after 1,000,000 load cycles. Most stiffener beam connections experienced little to no stiffness degradation after 1,000,000 load cycles; the smaller stiffener beam experienced 14% degradation after 1,000,000 load cycles. All connections remained within the limits of deflection criteria established in the 1994 AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-89
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bridge Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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