Mid-America Transportation Center


Date of this Version


Document Type



Report SPR-1(05) P576 Final Report 26-1120-0025-001


Copyright 2010 Mid-America Transportation Center


The majority of today’s bridge decks are built using cast-in-place concrete construction. This is due to the perceived low initial cost and constructor familiarity with the system. This research report describes the design, details, and construction of an innovative full-depth precast concrete bridge deck system – the Second Generation NUDECK (Nebraska University Deck). The quality of this system is far superior to castin- place construction. Cast-in-place concrete bridge decks experience cracking shortly after construction due to differential creep and shrinkage with the supporting beams. This leads to bridge deck deterioration; a problem that is not experienced with the virtually crack-free prestressed NUDECK made from high performance concrete. Rapid construction and minimizing the impact to drivers are two major demands toward our transportation industry. Precast bridge deck panels remove the construction operation from the jobsite and replace it with bridge deck installation. This eliminates the time spent on forming, concrete placing, and concrete curing. In addition, it increases worker and driver safety. Applications of this system to two of Nebraska’s bridges are presented in this report.