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Bridges, prestressed concrete, damage, over-height truck, serviceability, stresses


Accidental damage to prestressed concrete bridge girders may occur due to impact by over-height vehicles on the bottom of the girder, or the top flange of the girder may be damaged during deck removal and replacement operations. Since stress checks at service loads are an important component of design for prestressed concrete beams, serviceability-based stress checks should be considered when assessing the structural condition of damaged girders. In this paper, step-by-step theoretical calculations are used to develop equations for estimating service load stress changes due to physical damage (partial loss of concrete section and strands) based on a differential approach. The effects of lack of symmetry in the damaged cross section is considered in the calculations. A spreadsheet-based program is developed to calculate complex section property values for the damaged sections. The accuracy of the developed equations was verified using a finite element model of a prestressed beam under undamaged and damaged conditions. Reasonably good agreement was noted between the predicted stress changes and the finite element results.


This paper is being published in "Bridge Structures", a journal published by OPS Press. The article is being self-archived here under the journal's green open access option.