AASHTO Publishes New Small Bridge Expansion Joints Guideeditor@aashto.org May 21, 2021 0 COMMENTS
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials recently issued a new bridge publication: Guidelines for Maintaining Small Movement Bridge Expansion Joints, First Edition.
Available as a PDF download, this new publication provides bridge maintenance practitioners with detailed procedures for replacing, repairing, and maintaining Small Movement Expansion Joints – known as “SMEJs.” The guidelines define “small movement” as an expansion joint with a total movement of 4 inches or less.
SMEJs serve an important function in the lifecycle of a bridge, providing a “smooth transition” from one span to another in a multi-span bridge or from the approach roadway to the deck as well as directing water and other chemicals off bridge decking and away from the bridge structure.
While the cost of a joint may be small relative to the total cost of the bridge, the consequences of a joint failure can be significant and, as such, there has been a growing awareness of the need to develop detailed procedures for maintaining, repairing, and replacing SMEJs.