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File: SF2013/080714

ROADS AND MARITIME SERVICES BRIDGE
TECHNICAL DIRECTION MANUAL
1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 Purpose
The purpose of the Roads and Maritime Services (Roads and Maritime) Bridge
Technical Direction Manual is to provide a broad based set of Roads and Maritime
policies and guidelines on technical issues related to bridgeworks. By complying with
the Manual, any planning and design of new bridges, as well as rehabilitation,
maintenance and/or widening of existing bridges, carried out for Roads and Maritime
will have consistency in terms of quality, aesthetics or efficient use of resources, as
required by Bridge Engineering, Roads and Maritime Services.

1.2 Scope
This Manual sets Roads and Maritime policy and provides guidelines on bridge related
technical issues for all new, rehabilitation and other designs and related matters for
Roads and Maritime funded bridges and those that will become property of the Roads
and Maritime. It does not contain any comprehensive detailed design procedures.

1.3 Who is it for
This Manual is designed for use by all personnel carrying out work for Roads and
Maritime bridges, or for bridges that will become property of Roads and Maritime, who
are responsible for either design or administering design as well as documentation
and construction of new bridges and rehabilitation, maintenance or widening of
existing bridges.

1.4 What it contains
This Manual contains a collection of all current Bridge Technical Directions including
still current Bridge Policy Circulars, Chief Bridge Engineer Circulars and Bridge Design
Instructions issued to date. The associated Register specifies which current Bridge
Technical Directions and Circulars comprise the Roads and Maritime Services Bridge
Technical Direction Manual.

1.5 Amendments to the Manual
All new Bridge Technical Directions and revisions arising from changes in technology,
knowledge or process to any existing Bridge Technical Direction or Circular, together
with the updated Register, are issued to maintain currency of the Manual.

1.6 Contact Details
For further information regarding the Bridge Technical Direction Manual, please
contact:

Senior Bridge Engineer (Special Projects)
Bridge Engineering
Roads and Maritime Services
Octagon Building 5F
110 George Street
Parramatta NSW 2150

Tel: 02 8837 0805
Fax: 02 8837 0054

OTB-TP-504-F03 Issue 2014/04 (19 December 2014) Page 1 of 5
2. REGISTER OF CURRENT BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTIONS

The following bridge technical directions constitute the Roads and Maritime Services
Bridge Technical Direction Manual. These bridge technical directions are available on the
Internet and Roads and Maritime Intranet.

Date of
No. Subject
Approval
2014/03 13/8/2014
BTD Release of Secure Bridge Plans
Rev1 19/12/2014
BTD 2014/02 Durability Plan for Bridgeworks and Other Structures 31/3/2014

BTD 2014/01 Traffic Loading for Bridges 7/02/2014

BTD 2013/01 Design of Precast Reinforced Concrete Box Culverts 26/03/2013

BTD 2012/01 Provision of Safety Screens on Bridges 12/07/2012

BTD 2011/08 Testing of Cast-in-Place Concrete Piles 25/10/2011

BTD 2011/07 RMS(RTA) Interim Code For Concrete Design 3/05/2011

BTD 2011/06 Provisions for the Design of Super-T Girder Bridges 4/04/2011

BTD 2011/05 Minimum Restraint Capacity for Superstructures 25/03/2011

BTD 2011/04 Re-Issue of Standard Bridge Drawings 25/03/2011

BTD 2011/03 Skid-Resistant Treatments for Bridge Deck Joints 25/03/2011

BTD 2011/02 Use of CFA Piles on Bridges 25/03/2011
Use of Proprietary Precast Reinforced Concrete Modular Bridge
BTD 2011/01 18/03/2011
Deck Systems
Issue of New Standard Bridge Drawing No RMS(RTA)B100 –
BTD 2010/04 Design and Construction and Alliance Team Project Drawing 14/10/2010
Sheet
Pretensioned Bridge Members – Concrete Transfer Strength
BTD 2010/03 8/10/2010
Requirements
BTD 2010/02 Timber Bridge Design – Adoption of AS 1720.1-2010 20/09/2010

BTD 2009/02 Management of Bridge Rehabilitation Design Projects 14/07/2009
2009/01 22/06/2009
BTD Design of Sign Structures
Rev1 26/03/2010
Changes to Standard Bridge Drawings - RC Link Slab for Super T
BTD 2008/17 12/09/2008
Girder Decks
BTD 2008/16 Timber Bridge Manual 30/06/2008

BTD 2008/15 Concrete Parapets on Pedestrian Overbridges 6/06/2008
Changes to Standard Bridge Drawings– Spaced Planks Standard
BTD 2008/14 26/05/2008
Drawings
Provisions for Future Cathodic Protection of Reinforced Concrete
BTD 2008/13 16/07/2008
Bridges
BTD 2008/12 Provisions for Concrete Structures in Acid Sulfate Soils 14/05/2008

BTD 2008/11 Lists of RMS(RTA) Approved Bridge Components and Systems 5/05/2008

BTD 2008/10 Bridge Deck Joints 5/05/2008

BTD 2008/09 Link Slabs for Precast Pretensioned Concrete Girder Bridges 25/02/2008

OTB-TP-504-F03 Issue 2014/04 (12 December 2014) Page 2 of 5
Date of
No. Subject
Approval

BTD 2008/08 Provision of Conduits in Bridge Traffic Barriers 25/02/2008

BTD 2008/07 Design of Bridge Supports for Collision Load from Road Traffic 25/02/2008

BTD 2008/06 Joints in Precast Concrete Barrier Elements on a Grade 25/02/2008

BTD 2008/05 Splicing of Steel Girders Using Bolts 25/02/2008

BTD 2008/03 Use of Profiled Steel Sheeting in Bridges and Minor Structures 25/02/2008
Access for Inspection, Monitoring and Repair or Replacement of
BTD 2008/02 18/02/2008
Bridge Components
Changes to Standard Bridge Drawings – Bridge Traffic Barrier
BTD 2008/01 7/02/2008
Termination Details
BTD 2007/13 Durability of Steel Piles in Contact with Acid Sulfate Soils 17/12/2007

BTD 2007/12 Design for Replacement of Bridge Bearings 17/12/2007
Horizontal Reinforcement for Crack Control in Walls and Wall
BTD 2007/11 17/12/2007
Type Piers
BTD 2007/10 Restraint of Longitudinal Reinforcement in Columns 17/12/2007

BTD 2007/09 Soil-Arch Structures 17/12/2007
2007/08 27/09/2007
BTD Design of Replacement Traffic Barriers on Existing Bridges
Rev1 18/11/2009
BPC 2007/07 Vertical Clearances on Bridges 6/08/2007

BPC 2007/06 RMS(RTA) Structural Drafting and Detailing Manual 9/07/2007

BPC 2007/05 Design of Integral Bridges 1/08/2007
Changes to Standard Bridge Drawings – Steel Traffic Barrier
BPC 2007/04 6/07/2007
Railing Joints
Changes to Standard Bridge Drawings – Quarterly Update –
BPC 2007/03 21/06/2007
Revised Australian Standards
Changes to Standard Bridge Drawings – Installation of
BPC 2007/02 5/04/2007
Elastomeric Bearings for PSC Girders
Changes to Standard Bridge Drawings - Revision of Standard
BPC 2007/01 19/01/2007
Bridge Drawings
Changes to Standard Bridge Drawings – Revision of Three
BPC 2006/13 Standard Bridge Drawings – Nos RMS(RTA)B032; 27/10/2006
RMS(RTA)B041; RMS(RTA)B042C
Changes to Standard Bridge Drawings – Reinforcement
BPC 2006/09 Nomenclature Changed on All Bridge Standard Drawings 20/10/2006
Containing Reinforcement
Changes to Standard Bridge Drawings – Revision of Standard
BPC 2006/07 3/07/2006
Bridge Drawing No RMS(RTA)B029 – Standard Notes
BPC 2006/05 Pipes and Conduits for Bridgeworks 24/05/2006
Changes to Standard Bridge Drawings – Bridge Traffic Barriers –
BPC 2006/04 3/07/2006
Standard Cross Sections
BPC 2006/03 RMS(RTA) Approval of Proprietary Bridging Systems 24/05/2006

BPC 2005/10 Reissue of Standard Bridge Drawings 16/12/2005

BPC 2005/09 Provision of Disabled Access for Pedestrian Bridges 11/11/2005

BPC 2005/08 Welding of Bridges 18/11/2005

BPC 2005/06 Bird Nesting in Bridge Abutments & Box Girders 3/11/2005

OTB-TP-504-F03 Issue 2014/04 (12 December 2014) Page 3 of 5
Date of
No. Subject
Approval
Use of Steel Fibre Reinforced Reactive Powder Concrete
BPC 2005/05 8/09/2005
(‘Ductal’) in RMS(RTA) Works
2005/04 24/10/2005
BPC Pot Bearing Attachment Plates
Rev1 18/11/2009
Installation of Elastomeric Bearings for Pretensioned Concrete
BPC 2005/03 6/05/2005
Girders - Standard Drawings
Strategies for Enhancing the Durability of Post-Tensioned
BPC 2004/11 30/11/2004
Concrete Bridges
BPC 2004/10 Bridge Approach Slabs - Standard Drawings 6/12/2004

BPC 2004/09 Policy Circulars Made Redundant by AS 5100:2004 16/09/2004
Inspection of Modular Bridge Expansion Joints and Control of
BPC 2004/08 16/09/2004
Noise
BPC 2003/08 Bridge Screens 9/12/2003

BPC 2003/07 Bridge Maintenance Piling Works 9/12/2003

BPC 2003/06 Timber Truss Cross Girder Replacements 9/12/2003
Use of Proprietary Expanded Metal Construction Joints and Shear
BPC 2003/04 15/02/2003
Keys
BPC 2003/03 Bituminous Surfacings for Timber Bridge Decks 15/02/2003

BPC 2003/02 Waterproofing Membranes for Concrete Bridge Decks 19/02/2003

BPC 2002/05 Bridge Concept 21/03/2002
Standard Connector – Thrie-Beam to Old Three Rail RHS Traffic
BPC 2002/03 1/03/2002
Barrier
BPC 2002/02 Maximum Concrete Strengths for Use in RMS(RTA) Works 1/03/2002

BPC 2001/01 Replacement of Chief Bridge Engineer’s Circulars 15/08/2001

CBE 2000/09 Geotechnical Information for Bridges 19/05/2000

CBE 2000/08 Bar Shapes and Steel Lists for Precast Concrete Members 19/05/2000

CBE 2000/05 Compaction of Concrete in Solid and Non-circular Bridge Columns 11/05/2000
Timber/Concrete Composite Bridge Modules Test Loading of
CBE 1999/15 26/11/1999
Module - Design Criteria
Multi Span Plank Bridges with Link Slabs Guidelines for Bearing
CBE 1998/15 26/08/1998
Selection
CBE 1998/12 Tech CulvertTM 23/07/1998

CBE 1998/08 Bridge Bearings - Design for Maintenance or Replacement 26/05/1998

CBE 1997/10 Use of Brand Names 20/08/1997

CBE 1997/05 Design of Bearings for Durability 2/06/1997

CBE 1997/01 Variability of Concrete Properties 9/04/1997
Registration and Standard of Bridge Designs and Drawings for
CBE 1996/05 29/02/1996
Bridge Works Funded by the Authority on Main Roads
CBE 1996/04 Driven Piles 17/06/1996

CBE 1995/03 Information to be Shown on Drawings for Driven Piles 23/10/1995

CBE 1995/02 Stress Laminated Timber Bridges 25/01/1996

CBE 1994/07 Mass of Girders 16/06/1994

OTB-TP-504-F03 Issue 2014/04 (12 December 2014) Page 4 of 5
Date of
No. Subject
Approval

CBE 1994/05 Drainage of Voids in Bridge Deck 26/08/1994

CBE 1993/03 Socket Inserts for Precast Concrete Girders 25/02/1993
Bridges over Roads. Horizontal Clearances and Visual
CBE 1991/11 28/10/1991
Perceptions
CBE 1991/06 Permanently Cased Piles - Driving Shoe Details 10/07/1991

CBE 1990/10 Reinforcement Detailing 27/06/1990

CBE 1990/09 Weld Category - Fabricated Steelwork 1/06/1990

CBE 1990/07 Cast-in Angle Details - Amendments to Sketch Number 89-D-1 29/03/1990

CBE 1989/10 Detailing Steel Members 22/08/1989

CBE 1988/08 Provision of Curtain Walls 27/07/1988

BDI 1986/02 Design for Continuous Superstructures 21/04/1986

BDI 1985/07 Anchor Bolts 20/09/1985

BDI 1985/06 Bent on Site Reinforcing Bars 5/09/1985

BDI 1984/06 Provision of Drainage on Bridge Kerb 22/10/1984

BDI 1980/11 Provision of Lifting Lugs on Steel Girders 4/06/1980

BDI 1980/03 Bearing Levels 25/01/1980

The following link goes to the register that contains details of all Bridge Technical
Directions published to date, including withdrawn and superseded BTDs, for use by
Roads and Maritime staff. External parties will not be able to access this register:
http://home.rta.nsw.gov.au/policiesanddocuments/documentsites/ops/technical_services_bridge_proc
edures/docs/otb-tp-504-f01.xls

OTB-TP-504-F03 Issue 2014/04 (12 December 2014) Page 5 of 5
Technical Direction
BRIDGE
BTD 2014/03 REV 1

Release of Secure Bridge Plans
Summary: Audience:

This technical direction deals with the release of secure bridge plans  RMS Personnel
from the corporate records keeping system, and outlines the  Consultants
requirements for the treatment of such plans, once approved for  Contractors
release.

Background
Certain secure bridge plans in the Roads and Maritime Services corporate records keeping system require
approval prior to their release to Roads and Maritime Personnel, Consultants and Contractors.
Until recently, approval for the release of these drawings was issued by the Manager of the Strategic
Infrastructure Group. As a result of the recent disbanding of this group, a new approval process for the
release of such plans is now required

Information
This Technical Direction specifies the new approvals process for the release of secure bridge plans.
Secure plans for bridges on the M5 East and Private Motorways are not covered by this Technical
Direction.

Bridge Technical Direction
Approval for the release of secure bridge plans to Roads and Maritime Personnel, Consultants and
Contractors may only be issued by the General Manager Critical Infrastructure and Security (GMCIS) or
the Principal Engineer Bridges (PEB).
All approvals to release secure bridge drawings must be issued in writing. Where any request for access is
rejected, the other authorising officer/s and the applicant shall be informed of the outcome in writing.
Any approval to access secure bridge plans is subject to the following conditions:
1. Drawings are kept confidential during the stated purpose;
2. Plans are to be destroyed in a secure manner after the completion of the task and;
3. For personnel not assigned to Roads and Maritime Services:
a) Before approval for release of secure drawings is sought, security clearance of the person/s
using the drawings shall be obtained from the Manager Sydney Harbour Bridge and;
b) Before access to secure bridge plans is provided, a ‘Confidentiality Deed Poll’ is signed.

Approvals:
Owner: Wije Ariyaratne Review Date:
Principal Engineer Bridges

Authorised by: Chris Harrison Effective 19/12/2014
Chief Engineer Date:

Printed copies of this document are uncontrolled Page 1 | 2
Release of Secure Bridge Plans | BTD 2014/03 Rev 1

The GMCIS and the PEB may delegate approval to release secure plans on their behalf, for fixed time
periods. Such delegation must be stipulated in writing and is not transferable.
The General Manager, Contract Management Office; Manager Bridge and Maritime Assets; Strategic
Infrastructure Manager and Bridge Maintenance Planners (within their respective regions), are exempt from
the requirements of this Technical Direction and shall have access to secure bridge plans, when
necessary.

Printed copies of this document are uncontrolled Page 2 | 2
Technical Direction
BRIDGE

BTD 2014/02 Reference Nil

Durability Plan for Bridges and Other
Structures
Summary: Audience:

This Technical Direction deals with preparation of durability plans for • Designers
bridge and other structures for major projects and requires their
preparation be in consistent formats in accordance with RMS’s • Project Managers
“Guide for the Preparation of a Durability Plan”. • Contract Administrators
• Asset Managers, Bridge Maintenance Planners
• Publication on RMS’s Intranet and the Internet

Background
Over the past 15 years, project teams have provided durability plans where required by the project
Scope of Work and Technical Criteria (SWTC). The plans have often been voluminous, of variable
quality or in inconsistent formats. This has resulted in plans that are difficult to review and apply.
Information
RMS has recently prepared a “Guide for the Preparation of a Durability Plan”. The guide provides means
to appropriately assess the durability of the works. It outlines the information, measures and formats
required for durability plans for such projects that can be effectively applied during the design,
construction and maintenance of works.
Bridge Technical Direction
Durability plans prepared for RMS projects shall be in accordance with the “Guide for the Preparation of
a Durability Plan”. The guide can be found at:

http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/doingbusinesswithus/downloads/lgr/guidefordurabilityplan.pdf

Approvals:
Owner: Senior Bridge Engineer (Policy, Specifications and Review
Durability) Date:

Authorised by: Wije Ariyaratne Date: 31/03/2014 Page 1 | 1
Principal Engineer, Bridge and Structures

Printed copies of this document are uncontrolled.
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2014/01

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2014/01
TRAFFIC LOADING FOR BRIDGES

Background

AS 5100 Bridge Design was adopted for the design of bridges and related structures on the
classified road network in NSW on 7 May 2004.

AS 5100 defines a design traffic loading model designated as SM1600. The SM1600 traffic
loading does not correspond to any specific truck configurations, but it does account for the
possibility of two multi-trailer trucks travelling in convoy in a traffic lane.

Unlike some previous Australian bridge design codes the traffic loading model does not
make provision for reduced traffic loadings for minor roads with low traffic volumes.

However, it is recognised that in some limited circumstances, a lighter traffic loading could be
appropriate for the design of the structure. This BTD defines the conditions where reduced
traffic loading may be permitted and prescribes the minimum traffic loading that could be
adopted for the design of bridges on minor roads.

Information

The SM1600 traffic loading was developed in response to increasing legal truck mass and
truck axle loads, and new configurations of heavy vehicles to ensure that over the design life
of bridges the actual traffic loads will not exceed the design loads. The traffic load factor of
1.8 in the ultimate limit state was derived from statistical records of measured axle loads to
account for the likelihood of over-loaded vehicles on the road network.

It is recognised that, under certain conditions, a reduced traffic loading may be appropriate
for structures on minor local roads.

This Bridge Technical Direction replaces BPC 2004/06 which is now withdrawn.

Bridge Technical Direction

• Bridges on or over classified roads may be designed for a lesser traffic loading than
SM1600 provided that all of the following criteria are satisfied:
a. The bridge will provide access to either a limited number of private properties,
crown land, state and national park or state forest or a combination of these
where the likelihood of land use change is low, because physical; landscape or
planning constraints would make future development difficult.;

Contact: M Bennett
Section: Bridge and Structural Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2014/01

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b. The route alignment is unsuitable for B-doubles or other multi-trailer heavy
vehicles, and is unlikely within the design life of the structure to be improved to a
sufficient standard to allow travel by such vehicles;
c. The number of heavy vehicle movements is predicted not to exceed 150 AADT
within 30 years;
d. The maximum span of the bridge is 25 m; and
e. Either the superstructure of the bridge consists of simply supported spans ( i.e.
not structurally continuous), or the superstructure is continuous and the
application of SM1600 traffic loading would not cause a load reversal in any of the
members of the structure at the ultimate limit state or uplift at the supports at the
serviceability limit state

• The approval of the Principal Engineer, Bridge and Structures shall be obtained prior to
the adoption of a reduced traffic loading.

• Irrespective of the traffic loading to be adopted for design of new bridges, their traffic
barrier performance requirements and design shall be in accordance with the AS 5100.

• The minimum reduced traffic loading (including centrifugal and braking forces) for bridges
on the road network shall be the W7, T44 and L44 traffic loadings with corresponding
load factors, multiple lane modification factors and Dynamic Load Allowance as specified
in the 1992 Austroads Bridge Design Code and as detailed in Part 7 of AS 5100. For
fatigue loading the number of stress cycles for a Functional Class 1 road, as defined in
1992 Austroads Bridge Design Code shall apply.

Classified road has the same meaning as contained in the Roads Act 1993, namely “any of
the following:
(a) a main road,
(b) a highway,
(c) a freeway,
(d) a controlled access road,
(e) a secondary road,
(f) a tourist road,
(g) a tollway,
(h) a transitway,
(i) a State work”

References: BPC 2004/06

Effective date: 7/02/2014

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Engineer, Bridge and Structures

DISTRIBUTION:
Publication on RMS’ Intranet and the Internet
The circulation list for the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
All Bridge Engineering Staff and Skill-Hire Contractors
Asset Managers, Bridge Maintenance Planners and Support Officers
Manager, Project Management Office

Contact: M Bennett
Section: Bridge and Structural Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2014/01

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Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2013/01

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2013/01
DESIGN OF PRECAST REINFORCED CONCRETE BOX CULVERTS

Background

This Bridge Technical Direction stipulates Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) required design and
construction practice for precast reinforced concrete box culverts (RCBC).

Information

Major problems with differential settlement and damage by floods have been experienced with culverts
without cast-in-situ base slabs and precast wingwalls for high crown units.

This Bridge Technical Direction supersedes BTD/2008/04_Rev1, which is now withdrawn.

Bridge Technical Direction

As specified in RMS R16, RCBC for RMS shall be designed in accordance with AS 1597.2 and AS 5100
for a design life of 100 years.

For all RCBC designed and constructed for RMS or those that will become property of RMS, the
following conditions shall apply:

a. Base slabs shall be cast-in-situ reinforced concrete;

b. Base slab of single cell culverts, shall extend a minimum of 300 mm beyond the outer faces of the
inverted U-shaped precast crown units. For multi-cell culverts, the base slabs shall extend a
minimum of 300 mm beyond the outer faces of the outer units;

c. Dowels in base slab expansion or contraction joints or dowels connecting precast link slabs with
precast crown units shall be stainless steel Grade 304 to ASTM A276. The dowels shall be designed
for the shear forces across the joint and shall have a minimum diameter of 20 mm;

d. Dowels in base slabs shall be at least 600 mm long, at a maximum spacing of 600 mm and
debonded on one side of the joint;

e. Contraction joints in base slabs shall coincide with butt joints between crown units;

f. At least two dowels shall be provided at each end of the slab, in link slab to crown unit connections,

g. Wingwalls and headwalls shall be cast-in-situ, where the nominal height of the end crown unit is
1800 mm or greater;

Contact: Mark Bennett
Section: Bridge and Structural Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2013/01

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h. Cast-in-situ reinforced concrete slabs shall be provided over crown units, where the minimum
pavement depth over the top of the crown units cannot be achieved;

i. Cut-off walls shall be provided at the ends of the base slab and on the front faces of adjacent
wingwalls;

j. The assumed dimensions, or the actual dimensions where available, of the precast crown units shall
be shown on the design drawings;

k. Crown units shall be placed on mortar in recesses in base slabs to ensure even bearing and restraint
of the base of the legs. The reduced cover in the base slab under the recess is deemed to comply
with Clause 4.10 of the AS 5100.5 where the following requirements are met:
• The nominal cover under the recess is 30 mm; and
• A non-shrink cementitious mortar with minimum 28 day strength of 40 MPa is specified to fill
the recess.
The depth of the recess shall not be less than:
• 25 mm; and
• the nominal cover for the relevant exposure classification specified in Clause 4.10 of AS 5100.5
minus 30 mm.
Example: For exposure classification C and for 50 MPa concrete the appropriate nominal cover is
70 mm. The depth of the recess must be not less than 70 mm – 30 mm = 40 mm.

References: BTD2008/04_Rev1

Effective date: 26 March 2013
Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge and Structures Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
Publication on RMS’s Intranet and the Internet
The circulation list for the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
All Bridge Engineering Staff and Skill-Hire Contractors
Asset Managers, Bridge Maintenance Planners and Support Officers
Manager Information Management Systems
Manager, Road Asset Policy and Strategy
Manager, Project Management Office

Contact: Mark Bennett
Section: Bridge and Structural Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2013/01

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Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2012/01

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2012/01
PROVISION OF SAFETY SCREENS ON BRIDGES

Background

Roads and Maritime Services recognises that there is a risk to motorists from objects being dropped or
thrown from overbridges onto traffic passing underneath. Generally these incidents are infrequent and
sporadic. However, severe injuries and fatalities have occurred in the past.

Technical Direction TD2002/RS02 was issued in October 2002 to provide a risk assessment procedure
for the evaluation of the need for screens on existing and new bridges and to set guidelines for the
design of the safety (protection) screens.

This Bridge Technical Direction updates and replaces TD2002/RS02.

Objectives

The objectives of this Technical Direction are to:
1. Establish the criteria to determine the need to provide safety screens on new bridges and to
retrofit safety screens on existing bridges
2. Provide guidance and standards for the design of safety screens that satisfy structural design,
road safety, traffic operation and urban design objectives.
3. Outline alternative and additional measures that can be taken to reduce risk of objects being
dropped or thrown from bridges.

This Technical Direction does not cover methods for the prevention of objects being thrown from the
side of the road, a cutting or an embankment.

Risk Parameters

The risk of serious injury associated with these incidents is mainly dependent on the height of the bridge
above the road beneath and the speed of the vehicle that may be hit by the object.

For passenger cars, an increase in speed from 80 km/h to 100 km/h will have a greater influence on the
outcome than doubling the bridge height from 6 to 12 metres. For trucks, with a windscreen angle
generally much closer to the vertical, the influence of bridge height is negligible compared with travel
speed. It should be noted that this analysis only approximates the injury risk, as there are many other
factors that will influence the outcome, including the size and strength of the windscreen, the size, shape
and composition of the object being dropped.

Object dropped from high bridges have the potential to cause severe impacts. However, it is more
difficult for perpetrators to target individual vehicles accurately.

Contact: M V Bennett
Section: New Design, Bridge and Structural Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2012/01

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Accordingly, the speed of traffic on the road beneath the bridge is the most important factor in
determining priorities. It is anticipated that bridges over rural roads where the posted speed limit is less
than 80 km/h and for urban roads where the posted speed limit is less than 60 km/h would only be
screened in exceptional circumstances.

Assessment Criteria

Assessment for the need for safety screens on bridges over roads shall be carried out using the formal
risk assessment process set out in Appendix 2.

The risk assessment factors to be considered and scored are as follows:
• Previous history of incidents and/or signs of graffiti in the vicinity of the bridge
• Ease of pedestrian access
• Type of road underneath
• Posted speed of the road underneath
• Proximity to pedestrian traffic generators such as schools, hotels, clubs, sporting venues etc
• Lighting
• Visibility of pedestrians on the bridge to traffic on the bridge and to traffic passing under the
bridge
• Amount of loose material nearby

The theoretical maximum score using the matrix rating system is 68. A score greater than or equal to 30
warrants action.

For new bridges a previous history of incidents in the local area may not be available. In these cases, the
experience at similar sites should be taken into account. Where it is anticipated that during the life of the
structure a future risk assessment would require their installation, safety screens should be fitted when
the bridge is constructed. The installation of safety screens should not be delayed until a serious incident
definitely establishes the need.

For existing bridges the risk assessment score should be reviewed if the conditions at the bridge site
change.

Safety screens shall be provided on all pedestrian, shared path, cycleway and road bridges with footways
over railway lines. For road bridges without footways the Railway Authority shall be consulted to
determine the need for safety screens. The design and extent of these safety screens shall be as required
by the relevant Railway Authority.

Design Standards

Safety screens shall be designed to have a minimum design life of 50 years. They shall be designed to
comply with the requirements set out in Appendix 1.

On existing bridges, screens would normally be retrofitted as separate structural elements independent
from the existing pedestrian or traffic barriers.

On new pedestrian, cycleway, shared path or road bridges with footways the screens should be designed
as an integrated part of the pedestrian or cycleway barrier systems. On new road bridges the safety
screen should be designed with a post spacing and appearance complimentary to the traffic barrier.

Contact: M V Bennett
Section: New Design, Bridge and Structural Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2012/01

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Noise walls and privacy screens fitted to bridges, provided they comply with the height requirements of
Appendix 1 may also function as safety screens.

Safety screens shall be designed to minimise future maintenance costs and to minimise the risk of damage
due to vandalism and graffiti.

Alternative and Additional Measures

If the risk assessment score is marginal and the decision is made not to install safety screens other risk
reduction methods should be considered including:
• Removal of loose stones, litter and sundry foreign objects in the vicinity of the bridge that could
potentially be used as missiles
• Replacement of timber and metal delineator posts in the immediate vicinity of the structures
with lightweight plastic alternatives
• Modification or removal of other road furniture that could be used as projectiles
• Installation of lighting or enhanced lighting
• Raising awareness of the danger of dropping or throwing objects from overbridges with school
and community groups and local authorities
• Camera surveillance

Records Management

The installation of safety screen on a bridge shall be recorded in the Bridge Information System (BIS).

Attachments to this Technical Direction
1. Appendix 1 - Design of safety screens on bridges
2. Appendix 2 - Risk assessment matrix

Effective date: 12 July 2012

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge and Structures Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
Publication on RMS’ Intranet and the Internet
The circulation list for the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
All Bridge Engineering Staff and Skill-Hire Contractors
Asset Managers, Bridge Maintenance Planners and Support Officers
Corporate Documentation Registrar
Manager, Road Information and Asset Management Technology
Manager, Project Management Office

Contact: M V Bennett
Section: New Design, Bridge and Structural Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2012/01

3 of 7
Appendix 1 - Design of Safety Screens on Bridges

Geometric Requirements

Safety screens shall have the following geometrical properties:
(a) A minimum height of 3.0 m above the roadway or footway surface or 2.0 m above the top rail
or top surface of any adjacent pedestrian or traffic barrier, whichever is the greater.
(b) The safety screen shall extend at least 6 m beyond the edge lane line of the roadway below or,
if this is not possible, to within 1 m of the end of the Abutment wing walls or on pedestrian and
shared path bridges to the landings at the end of the main bridge spans.
The safety screen shall be at or above the minimum height for a distance of at least 2 m past the
outer edge lane line of the roadway below, and may then taper down in height.
(c) Where the safety screen is adjacent to the traffic carriageway, the screen shall have a minimum
setback from the inside face of the traffic barrier of 350 mm.
(d) For pedestrian footways on road bridges and on pedestrian bridges the safety screens shall have
a minimum head clearance of 2.20 m at the inside face of the railing and 2.40 m at 150 mm
from the inside face of the railing or handrail.
(e) On shared path bridges and cycleways the safety screens shall have a minimum head clearance
of 2.5 m at 300 mm from the inside face of the adjacent railing or handrail.
(f) A minimum clear width of 80 mm shall be provided between the safety screen and the railing or
handrail.
(g) Post spacing shall not exceed 3 m. However, as the standard size of a mesh panel is
2.4 x 3.0 m, post spacing based on an infill panel width of 2.4 m will eliminate the need for a 2
mesh panels vertically.
(h) Pedestrian and shared path bridges with a clear width between railings or handrails of up to
3.0 m may be fully enclosed, but measures shall be taken to restrict unauthorised access onto
the top of the screen. On shared path bridges the minimum head clearance over the central
2.0 m of the bridge carriageway shall be 3.0 m.
(i) For safety screens that are not fully enclosed, the maximum effective outward slope measured
to a straight line drawn through the top of the infill panel and the bottom of the infill panel at
the top of the parapet or kerb shall not exceed 1 in 10.
(j) Posts for safety screens that are located on a bridge where the longitudinal grade of the bridge
exceeds 6% at any point, shall be detailed to be truly vertical for the full extent of the screens.
Where the longitudinal grade does not exceed 6% at any point, the posts should normally be
perpendicular to the top of the concrete parapet or footway surface.

Construction Details

The following construction details shall be adopted for the design of the safety screens:
(a) The design of the safety screen should be modular, so that individual components can be easily
replaced if damaged by an over-width or errant vehicle.
(b) It is preferred that safety screens are attached to the top or outside face of the bridge parapets.
However, safety screen posts may be bolted to the posts or base plates of traffic barrier railings,
provided the minimum lateral clearance requirements are met.
(c) Safety screens shall not be attached to the railings of traffic barriers.

Infill Panels

For normal road bridges the safety screens should use wire mesh panels. However, in special
circumstances such as heritage bridges, where the safety screens also have a noise mitigation function,

Contact: M V Bennett
Section: New Design, Bridge and Structural Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2012/01

4 of 7
bridges fitted with advertising signs or bridges that require special architectural treatment the use of
alternative panel types may be approved by the Principal Bridge and Structures Engineer.

On pedestrian and shared path bridges, to meet urban design and functional objectives, a range of infill
panel types is permitted including wire mesh, perforated metal, profiled or punched metal sheeting and
acrylic panels. The safety screen should be reasonably transparent to allow the ingress of light, allow the
user to view the surroundings and to allow the motorist to see the pedestrian or cyclist.

Wire mesh panels shall have a maximum square grid of 50 x 50 mm with a minimum wire diameter of
4 mm diameter wire or 358 security mesh with a 75 x 13 grid and a minimum wire diameter of 4 mm.
Security mesh should be used where there is an assessed high risk that persons may attempt to climb up
the screen.

Where a pattern is required to meet architectural objectives a second decorative mesh panel (typically a
25 x 25 wire mesh) can be tied to the primary mesh panel to produce a silhouette effect. The minimum
wire diameter of any secondary mesh shall be 3 mm.

Apart from where security mesh is used the maximum aperture of any gap or opening in the safety
screen shall be 50 mm in any direction.

The infill panel shall be securely fastened to reduce the risk of it being stolen.

Design Loadings

Safety screens shall be designed in accordance with AS 5100.

The safety screen shall be designed for the most critical combination of the ultimate dead loads plus one
of the following transient load effects:

Wind loading

The ultimate limit state wind speed and wind loading shall be as specified in AS/NZS 1170.2 for a 500
year return period.

Pedestrian Live Loading

Where the safety screen will also function as a pedestrian barrier an ultimate horizontal live load of
2.25 kPa shall be applied onto the screen from the footway level to 1.1 m above footway level.

General Live Load

An ultimate transverse load of 2 kN applied over an area of 0.2 m by 0.2 m anywhere on the screen.

Contact: M V Bennett
Section: New Design, Bridge and Structural Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2012/01

5 of 7
Appendix 2 - Risk Assessment Matrix

Weightings and scores for risk assessment

Assessment Weighting Score
Factor Weighting Criteria Scoring Criteria
(W) (S)
Number
1 Type of road below Posted speed of road
below
Motorway or Restricted Access 10 >80 kph 10
Major Public Road 6 >60 – 80 kph 9
Minor road or footway 2 60 kph or lower 8
2 Type of bridge 10 Pedestrian or shared path 10
Road bridge with footway 8
Road bridge without
footways 0
3 Distance from school 9 Up to 200m 10
201m - 400m 9
401m - 600m 8
601m - 800m 7
4 Distance from hotel or club 8 801m - 1000m 6
1001m - 1200m 5
1201m - 1400m 4
1401m - 1600m 3
5 Distance from youth attraction 6 1601m - 1800m 2
venue eg sporting venue, 1801m - 2000m 1
skateboard park beyond 2000m 0
6 Other pedestrian generators 1 Significant generators within
eg Shopping centres, bus & train 300m 10
stations, high density residential Minor generators within
areas 300m 5
None within 300m 0
7 Lighting 3 Nil 10
Adjacent lighting 5
Lighting on bridge 0
8 Exposure from adjacent buildings 7 Low 10
Med 5
High 0
9 Exposure from passing traffic 7 Low 10
Med 5
High 0
10 History of incidents and/or signs 10 Large amounts of graffiti
of graffiti and record of past
incidents. 10
Small amounts of graffiti 4
No graffiti or past incidents 0
11 Any loose objects 4 Easily attainable large rocks
or objects 10
Few shrubs, rubbish & small
rocks 4
None 0

Contact: M V Bennett
Section: New Design, Bridge and Structural Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2012/01

6 of 7
The risk rating score is calculated as the sum of the multiplication of the Weighting W and the Score S
divided by number of risk assessment factors:

11
W ×S
Risk Rating Score = ∑1 11

Example Risk Assessment

Assessment
Description W S WxS
Factor No
A bridge over a major public road that has a
1 6 9 54
posted speed limit of 70 kph

2 Pedestrian bridge 10 10 100

3 500 m from the nearest school 9 8 72

4 More than 2000 m from a hotel, club 8 0 0

More than 2000 m from a youth attraction
5 6 0 0
venue

6 Within 300 m of a shopping centre 1 5 5

7 Some light from street lights 3 5 15

Medium exposure from surrounding
8 7 5 35
buildings

9 Medium exposure from passing traffic 7 5 35

In an area where past incidents of vandalism
10 10 10 100
have occurred

11 Loose rocks in an adjacent garden bed 4 10 40

Sum of WS 456

456
Risk Rating Score = = 41.5
11
Risk Rating Score ≥ 30, so a safety screen is required.

Contact: M V Bennett
Section: New Design, Bridge and Structural Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2012/01

7 of 7
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2011/08

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2011/08
TESTING OF CAST-IN-PLACE CONCRETE PILES

Background

Cast-in-place concrete piles, with or without permanent casing, as specified in RTA QA specifications
B58 and RTA B59 respectively, are often founded in rock of medium strength or better classification to
AS 1726 and were traditionally designed using working stresses. As the examination of pile holes and
socket of piles founded in these materials was considered sufficient to ensure pile strength, the current
versions of RTA B58 and RTA B59 do not specify pile testing.

Following the issue of AS2159-2009, less conservative limit state designs are increasingly being used for
cast-in-place concrete piles. Verification of the geotechnical design resistance of these piles is best
achieved by pile testing in addition to pile hole examination, especially where the pile is founded in soft
rock or weaker stratum. AS 2159-2009 encourages testing of all types of piles, and mandates testing
under certain circumstances, depending on the site conditions and extent of investigation, and the design
assumptions and construction methods.

This Technical Direction details the requirements for the testing of cast-in-place concrete piles to cover
their use when founded in various founding materials and to address the requirements of AS 2159-2009
pending the revision of both RTA B58 and RTA B59. This Bridge Technical Direction supersedes
BTD2010/05 which is now withdrawn.

Information

RTA B58 and RTA B59 are written to conform to AS 5100.3-2004 and AS 2159-1995 which are
referenced in both specifications. Dynamic or other testing of cast-in-place concrete piles is not
specified.
For all pile types, AS 2159-2009 mandates integrity testing where φgb > 0.4, and load testing where both
φgb > 0.4 and the average risk rating (ARR) ≥ 2.5. However AS 2159-2009 allows designers to specify,
where considered necessary, additional testing with φgb ≤ 0.4.

The extent and type of pile testing as revised by AS 2159-2009 is based on the ARR value and designer’s
specific requirements. The new Standard encourages pile testing by permitting use of higher values of φg
when testing is carried out.

Bridge Technical Direction

Cast-in-place concrete piles for RTA works or those that will be property of RTA shall be tested as
detailed below to confirm:
a. Design geotechnical strength where φgb > 0.4; and
b. Pile integrity using low-strain impact testing methods regardless of φgb value, as detailed below.

Contact: Taha Ahmed
Section: Policy & Specifications, Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0278
File no: 96M2117, 96M2118 & 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2011/08

1 of 4
All testing excluding static load testing shall be carried out by RTA approved organisations using RTA
approved processes and equipment included in the Lists of RTA Approved Bridge Components and
Systems at:
http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/doingbusinesswithus/downloads/listofapprovedbridgecomponentssystems.pdf

Piles selected for testing shall be as nominated on the Drawings or as determined in agreement with
RTA’s geotechnical representative.

(A) Design Geotechnical Strength and/or Serviceability

The minimum percentage and number of piles to be tested at each bridge site for strength and/or
serviceability shall conform to Table 1.

Table 1. Minimum Percentage (1) and Number of Piles (2) to be Tested for
Design Geotechnical Strength

Rock classification(3) ARR(4) <3.0 3.0-3.99 4.0-5.0

Medium or better % 0 0 1
Minimum Number 0 0 1
(5)
Low % 1 2 3
Minimum Number 1 2 3
(5)
Very Low % 2 3 4
Minimum Number 2 3 4
(5)
Extremely Low % 3 4 5
Minimum Number 3 4 5
(1) Fractions shall be rounded up to the next integer
(2) The higher of these two values shall be adopted for testing
(3) Rock classification to AS1726-1993 (not for pile design purposes)

(4) Average risk rating as per AS 2159-2009

(5) Extent of testing for piles founded in low to extremely low strength rock may be increased

depending on site specific conditions in agreement with RTA’s geotechnical representative.

Testing may comprise static loading, high-strain dynamic testing, bi-directional load testing or rapid load
testing as detailed in AS 2159-2009. Unless otherwise specified on the Drawings, the maximum test
load Pg shall be as specified in Clause 8.3.3 of AS2159-2009.

For dynamic testing, the hammer mass shall be such that the net energy imparted to the pile is sufficient
to mobilise the design pile resistance corresponding to the maximum test load. The hammer drop may
be increased incrementally to no more than 3 m until the required resistance is achieved. Testing shall
not result in the allowable concrete stresses being exceeded.

(B) Pile Integrity

Integrity testing may be carried out using any of the integrity testing methods specified in AS 2159-2009.

The minimum percentage and number of piles to be integrity tested at each bridge site using low-strain
head impact testing methods, eg pulse echo (PE) or impulse response (IR), shall conform to Table 2.

Contact: Taha Ahmed
Section: Policy & Specifications, Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0278
File no: 96M2117, 96M2118 & 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2011/08

2 of 4
Table 2. Minimum Percentage (1) and Number of Piles (2) to be Integrity Tested
Using PE or IR Methods
A(3) % 20
Minimum Number 4
(4)
B % 25
Minimum Number 5
(1) Fractions shall be rounded up to next integer
(2) The higher of these two values shall be adopted for testing
(3) When pile design load is governed by pile geotechnical capacity

(4) When pile design load is governed by pile shaft structural capacity

PE or IR methods must be capable of testing the full length of the pile taking into account the specific
rate of energy dissipation of the founding material. The maximum length to diameter ratio (L:D) of a pile
to be tested using PE or IR methods shall conform to Table 3 unless otherwise approved by RTA’s
geotechnical representative.

Table 3. Maximum L:D of Piles for Integrity Testing Using PE or IR Methods

Founding Material Rock Stiff/ hard soil Medium stiff soil Very soft soil
Pulse Echo 10 20 40 60
Impulse Response 10 20 30 30

Depending on bridge site conditions and design assumptions, the RTA’s geotechnical representative may
seek validation of PE or IR tests by comparing them to high strain dynamic tests carried out on the same
piles subsequent to their PE or IR testing.

Where use of PE or IR test methods is deemed inappropriate by the RTA’s geotechnical representative
because of bridge site conditions, pile geometry and/or construction methods, Sonic Logging (SL)
methods shall be considered. The extent of SL testing shall be in accordance with Table 4.

Table 4. Minimum Percentage (1) and Number of Piles (2) to be Integrity Tested
Using SL Method

ARR(3) <2.5 2.5-2.99 3.0-3.49 3.5-3.99 4.0-4.49 4.5-5.0

A(4) % 5 10 10 15 15 20
Minimum Number 1 2 2 3 3 4
B(5) % 15 15 20 20 25 25
Minimum Number 3 3 4 4 5 5
(1) Fractions shall be rounded up to next integer
(2) The higher of these two values shall be adopted for testing
(3) Average risk rating as per AS 2159-2009

(4) When pile design load is governed by pile geotechnical capacity

(5) When pile design load is governed by pile shaft structural capacity

Contact: Taha Ahmed
Section: Policy & Specifications, Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0278
File no: 96M2117, 96M2118 & 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2011/08

3 of 4
Provide at least four cast-in steel logging tubes for every pile to be SL tested. PVC tubes are not
permitted for use in SL testing. The diameter of logging tubes shall be appropriate for the probes to be
used for logging.

References: BTD 2010/05

Effective date: 25/10/2011

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
Publication on RTA’s Intranet and the Internet
The circulation list for the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
All Bridge Engineering Staff and Skill-Hire Contractors
Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Road Pavement & Geotechnical Engineering, RTA Network Services
Asset Managers, Bridge Maintenance Planners and Support Officers
Corporate Documentation Registrar
Manager, Road Information and Asset Management Technology
Manager, Project Management Office

Contact: Taha Ahmed
Section: Policy & Specifications, Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0278
File no: 96M2117, 96M2118 & 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2011/08

4 of 4
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2011/07

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2011/07
RTA INTERIM CODE FOR CONCRETE DESIGN

Information
The latest edition of AS 3600-2009 introduced several changes to the design of concrete structures
including an increase in the maximum characteristic compressive strength of concrete at 28 days to
100 MPa.
The current edition of the concrete design part of the Bridge Design Code (AS 5100.5-2004) was based
on AS 3600-2001.
RTA has prepared an interim edition of AS 5100.5 that adopts most of the changes in AS 3600-2009 to
enable the improvements in concrete technology reflected in that document to be utilised whilst the
new edition of AS 5100.5 is being prepared. The interim edition also incorporates the contents of RTA
Bridge Technical Directions BTD 2007/10 and BTD 2007/11 and the cement composition requirements
of RTA B80.
However, at this stage the maximum characteristic compressive strength of concrete used in RTA bridge
works at 28 days will not be increased above 65 MPa.

Bridge Technical Direction
The characteristic compressive strength of concrete at 28 days for RTA bridges, and those bridges that
will become the property of RTA, shall be within the range from 25 to 65 MPa.
Until further notice, the design of concrete bridge members shall be in accordance with the interim
concrete bridge design code AS/RTA 5100.5 April 2011-Interim. The interim document is available on
the RTA’s Internet site and can be accessed at the URL:
http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/doingbusinesswithus/downloads/as_rta_5100-5_april2011_interim.pdf

References: BTD 2007/10, BTD 2007/11, RTA QA Specification B80

Effective date: 3/05/2011

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer
DISTRIBUTION:
Publication on RTA’s Intranet and the Internet
The circulation list for the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
All Bridge Engineering Staff and Skill-Hire Contractors
Asset Managers, Bridge Maintenance Planners and Support Officers
Corporate Documentation Registrar
Manager, Road Information and Asset Management Technology
Manager, Project Management Office

Contact: Samia Sedra, Greg Forster, Mark Bennett
Section: RTA Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0875
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2011/07

1 of 1
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2011/06

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2011/06
PROVISIONS FOR THE DESIGN OF SUPER-T GIRDER BRIDGES

Information

This Bridge Technical Direction deals with design issues of Super-T girder bridges and sets guidelines to
minimise risks and future costs to RTA. This Bridge Technical Direction supersedes CBE 97/3 which is
now withdrawn.

Main Standard Bridge Drawings dealing with Super-T girder bridges are drawing numbers RTAB033,
RTAB033A to F and RTAB057.

Bridge Technical Direction

The following provisions shall apply to the design of Super-T girder bridges:

Super-T Girders

1. Internal diaphragms shall be provided at each end of each girder, and shall be sufficiently long to
splay the layers of vertical reinforcement on skew bridges;

2. Intermediate internal diaphragms with a maximum spacing of 8000mm shall be provided for all
girders;

3. Standard Super-T girders shall be 750, 1000, 1200, 1500 and 1800mm deep;

4. Super T- girders for road bridges shall be designed as open type girders with no top flange
between the webs;

5. Minimum web thickness shall be 100mm. A thicker web shall be provided where required for
strength or durability reasons;

6. Nominal concrete cover to the reinforcement on the outside face of the girder shall be 30mm
minimum except for the bottom face of the top flange where the nominal cover shall be 25mm
minimum. A larger cover shall be provided where required for durability. The nominal cover of
the top face of the top flange shall be 20mm minimum. The internal nominal cover of the girder
shall be 25mm minimum;

7. Not more than 50% of the strands shall be debonded at any section. Strands horizontally or
vertically adjacent to a debonded strand, shall not be debonded;

8. The minimum distance from the end of the girder to the bearing centreline measured along the
girder centreline shall be 400mm;

Contact: Warren Stalder
Section: RTA Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0241
File nos: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2011/06

1 of 3
9. The maximum nominal aggregate size in the concrete mix design shall be 14mm;

Cross Girders

10. Cross Girders shall be provided at the ends of Super-T girders. Cross girders shall be designed for
jacking up the bridge superstructure for the purpose of bearing replacement in accordance with
RTA Bridge Technical Direction BTD2007/12;

11. Cross girders shall not extend beyond the outside face of edge Super-T girders;

12. Where formed holes are used in Super-T girders to install the cross girder reinforcement, grouting
procedure around the reinforcement shall be detailed on the drawings. For bridge decks with
double cross falls, the use of welding splices or approved mechanical couplers of the threaded
type shall be used. Approved proprietary mechanical grade D500N reinforcing bar splices can be
found at:

http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/doingbusinesswithus/downloads/listofapprovedbridgecomponentssystems.pd
f

Maximum Span Length for Simply Supported Girders

13. The maximum span, measured centre to centre between bearings, of Super-T girders designed for
SM1600 traffic loading shall be as follows:
o 18 metres for the 750 mm deep girders,
o 23 metres for the 1000 mm deep girders,
o 28 metres for the 1200 mm deep girders,
o 33 metres for the 1500 mm deep girders, and
o 37 metres for the1800 mm deep girders;

Bridge Skew

14. Super-T girders shall, unless otherwise approved by the Principal Bridge Engineer, not be used in
bridges with a skew larger than 35 degrees. Where a skew greater than 25 degrees is proposed,
accurate analysis shall be undertaken to account for the skew effects on transverse and
longitudinal bending of the deck and link slabs, and the differential shrinkage effects between the
deck slab and the girders particularly in the vicinity of the acute corners of the bridge deck. Special
attention shall be taken to control cracking of the bridge decks to within specification limits;

Conduits

15. Where required and agreed to by the RTA Asset Manager, allow for the placement of conduits
through super T-girders. Indicate on drawings the locations and size of the required block outs at
the end blocks, internal diaphragms and at abutment curtain walls; and

16. Allow for the installation and replacement of the conduits from a pit behind the abutments
located outside marked traffic lanes. Ensure that the bridge movement during jacking is not
restricted.

Contact: Warren Stalder
Section: RTA Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0241
File nos: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2011/06

2 of 3
References: CBE 97/3, BTD2007/12, RTA Standard Bridge Drawings RTAB033,
RTAB033A to F and RTAB057

Effective date: 4/04/2011

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
Publication on RTA’s Intranet and the Internet
The circulation list for the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
All Bridge Engineering Staff and Skill-Hire Contractors
Asset Managers, Bridge Maintenance Planners and Support Officers
Corporate Documentation Registrar
Manager, Road Information and Asset Management Technology
Manager, Project Management Office

Contact: Warren Stalder
Section: RTA Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0241
File nos: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2011/06

3 of 3
Corporate
CorporateCircular
Circular
CC
CC: BTD2011/05
: BTD2010_05

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2011/05
MINIMUM RESTRAINT CAPACITY FOR SUPERSTRUCTURES

Background

In 2009 the superstructure of an RTA pedestrian bridge at Maitland was dislodged from its supports and
collapsed onto the highway due to the impact from an over height vehicle.

This bridge superstructure had adequate lateral restraint but insufficient vertical restraint at its supports
to resist the impact force from the over height vehicle.

As a result of this bridge collapse the RTA requires that its new bridges be designed to provide a
minimum vertical restraint force to superstructures. Further, the minimum vertical clearance for all
pedestrian, cycleway and shared path bridges is to be standardised at 5.5 m.

Information

Clause 9 of AS 5100.2 -2004 requires the provision of a lateral restraint system for superstructures
capable of resisting an ultimate horizontal force normal to the bridge centre-line of 500 kN. AS 5100.2
has no provision for vertical restraint of the superstructure.

During the impact of a bridge superstructure by an over height vehicle, in addition to the lateral load a
concurrent vertical lifting force is often also applied.

The UK Highway Agency Design Manual for Roads and Bridges Part BD 60/04 (May 2004) recognises
this and requires that for bridge superstructures below a nominated vertical clearance, supports be
designed for a collision load on the superstructure of 500 kN force acting at any inclination between
horizontal and (upward) vertical.

Bridge Technical Direction

This technical direction shall apply to the design of new RTA bridges and bridges that will become the
property of the RTA over roads and railway lines with a vertical clearance of less than 7.0m, and bridges
over navigable waterways.

To minimise the risk of the superstructure of a bridge being dislodged from the substructure, the
superstructure supports shall be designed for the loads from a minimum ultimate force of 500 kN acting
at any inclination between horizontal and (upward) vertical applied at any potential impact points on the
superstructure, concurrent with minimum permanent downward vertical load acting on the support
multiplied by 0.75. The impact force will be taken to act at the level of the soffit of the superstructure.

The load path for the transfer of the impact force to the substructure shall be determined and the
bearings, restraints, substructure elements and foundations designed for the resulting forces. If uplift
could occur at any support, a restraint system shall be provided to resist the uplift force between the
superstructure and the substructure at the relevant support.

Contact: Mark Bennett
Section: New Bridge Design, Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2011/05
1 of 2
All pedestrian, cycleway and shared path bridges shall have a minimum vertical clearance over the traffic
carriageway of 5.5 m

Effective date: 25/03/2011

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
Publication on RTA’s Intranet and the Internet
The circulation list for the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
All Bridge Engineering Staff and Skill-Hire Contractors
Asset Managers, Bridge Maintenance Planners and Support Officers
Corporate Documentation Registrar
Manager, Road Information and Asset Management Technology
Manager, Project Management Office

Contact: Mark Bennett
Section: New Bridge Design, Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2011/05
2 of 2
Corporate
CorporateCircular
Circular
CC
CC: BTD2011/04
: BTD2010_05

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2011/04
CHANGES TO STANDARD BRIDGE DRAWINGS
RE-ISSUE OF STANDARD BRIDGE DRAWINGS

Background

A by-product of the formation of Transport NSW by the NSW Government, is the requirement that all
transport related agencies in NSW be readily identifiable a common Transport NSW logo.

Information

RTA Standard Bridge Drawings have been revised to replace the old RTA logo with the new Transport
NSW logo as it pertains to the RTA, where applicable.

Further, RTA Standard Bridge Drawings have been revised to include the RTA’s full legal name – that
being the “Roads and Traffic Authority of New South Wales”.

Bridge Technical Direction

The latest issue number of each RTA Standard Bridge Drawing, as shown on the latest, Issue 51 dated
09 March 2011or subsequent issue of the Standard Bridge Drawings Cover Sheet, shall be used for all
bridge or bridge related projects that are developed by the RTA or for any project that will become the
property of the RTA in the future, effective from the date of this Circular.

Effective date: 25/03/2011

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
Publication on RTA’s Intranet and the Internet
The circulation list for the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
All Bridge Engineering Staff and Skill-Hire Contractors
Asset Managers, Bridge Maintenance Planners and Support Officers
Corporate Documentation Registrar
Manager, Road Information and Asset Management Technology
Manager, Project Management Office

Contact: Ian Hobson
Section: New Design, Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0820
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2011/04

1 of 1
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2011/03

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2011/03
SKID-RESISTANT TREATMENTS FOR BRIDGE DECK JOINTS

Background

Clause 17.3.1 of AS 5100.4 Bridge design – Bearings and deck joints, requires that “metal surfaces wider
than 200 mm, which are exposed to vehicular traffic, shall be provided with an anti-skid treatment.”

Information

Treatment of the trafficked surfaces of bridge deck joints may be required to minimise the risk of drivers
losing control of vehicles traversing the joints in adverse weather conditions of heavy rain.

The RTA has specified, for many years, the application of criss-cross weld beads on its steel fingerplate
joints followed by hot-dipped galvanising after fabrication, with no specific problems reported. This
treatment addresses the aquaplaning situation, by providing a macro-texture to the steel surface that, in
conjunction with the tyre treads, allows the stormwater to be expelled from between the tyre and
treated deck joint surface.

Vehicle tyres in contact with metal surfaces, typically steel or aluminium, in normal dry or wet weather
conditions will usually have sufficient frictional resistance between the rubber tyres and the metal surfaces
to prevent skidding or slipping, except if contaminants such as oil are present on the surface.

Skidding or slipping will occur when frictional resistance is overcome, such as when the vehicle is braked
whilst travelling at excessive speeds or when travelling a tight radius bend at excessive speed, or if oil is
present on the surface. Where oil is present on the surface, it presents a road hazard and must be
removed as soon as possible. This risk cannot be accounted for in the design of the bridge deck joint,
and must be dealt with by road maintenance crews.

The coefficient of friction between the vehicle tyres and the metal surfaces of bridge deck joints has a
wide range of possible values, and is affected by factors such as:
(i) whether the metal surface is wet or dry;
(ii) condition of the surface being rough or smooth, and
(iii) the type of rubber and the age and extent of wear of the tyres.

To reduce the risk of vehicles skidding or slipping on the bridge deck joint, the coefficient of friction can
be increased by applying a coating to the surface that provides an additional micro-texture, the
effectiveness of which depends on the type of coating and its durability.

Application of the additional micro-texture to the metal surface of the bridge deck joint may be required
to give additional frictional resistance, but shall be applied only when deemed necessary following a risk
assessment, as detailed below. RTA approved proprietary slip-resistant coatings are available for this
purpose. However, such coatings wear under traffic, and may need to be regularly inspected and, if
necessary, reapplied periodically.

Details of RTA approved proprietary slip-resistant coatings can be found in the Lists of RTA Approved
Bridge Components and Systems, refer to BTD2008/11.

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2011/03

1 of 2
Longitudinal metal bridge deck joints parallel to the direction of traffic are sometimes required e.g., when
an existing structure is widened. With time, such longitudinal deck joints can become proud of the
wearing course of the bridge deck as the adjacent asphalt wears away under traffic. The subsequent
issues that occur cannot usually be addressed by the addition of any treatments to the metal surfaces of
such joints. They can only be addressed by milling and replacing the worn asphalt with new fully
compacted dense grade asphalt level with the joint following compaction during placement and from
traffic. However, to minimise risks to traffic that arise from the presence of such joints in the trafficked
part of the roadway, their top surfaces should be given a skid-resistant treatment as detailed below.

Bridge Technical Direction

All deck joints on new bridges, and replacements for existing joints, exposed to vehicular road traffic with
metal surfaces more than 200 mm wide or long measured in the direction of traffic shall have a skid-
resistant treatment on those surfaces as follows:
(i) For all traffic situations, a grid at 45 degrees to the direction of traffic of intermittent orthogonal
weld beads 3 mm high x 55 mm long spaced at 110 mm in both directions.
(ii) For high-risk traffic situations, see below, weld beads as in Item (i) above together with an RTA
approved proprietary slip-resistant coating.

For the purpose of this Bridge Technical Direction, to assess whether a bridge deck joint requires an
RTA approved proprietary slip-resistant coating, a risk assessment shall be carried out, with following
situations deemed to be high-risk:
(a) Bridges on horizontal alignments with curves less than:
a. 150 m radius with traffic speeds greater than 60 km/hr; or
b. 230 m radius with traffic speeds greater than 80 km/hr; or
c. 450 m radius with traffic speeds greater than 100 km/hr.
(b) Bridges on curves with negative (adverse) crossfall.
(c) Bridges on curves with crossfall less than that specified in the RTA Road Design Guide for the
posted travel speed.
(d) Bridges on vertical alignments with gradients greater than 9%.
(e) Bridges on urban arterial roads at locations with annual average daily traffic (AADT) exceeding
80,000 vehicles.

Reference: BTD2008/11

Effective date: 25/03/2011

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
Publication on RTA’s Intranet and the Internet
The circulation list for the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
All Bridge Engineering Staff and Skill-Hire Contractors
Asset Managers, Bridge Maintenance Planners and Support Officers
Corporate Documentation Registrar
Manager, Road Information and Asset Management Technology
Manager, Project Management Office

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2011/03

2 of 2
Corporate
CorporateCircular
Circular
CC
CC: BTD2011/02
: BTD2010_05

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2011/02
USE OF CFA PILES ON BRIDGES

Background

Continuous Flight Auger (CFA) piles are constructed by screwing a hollow stem continuous flight auger
into the ground and then pumping concrete into the ground as the auger is withdrawn. A reinforcement
cage is then inserted into the wet concrete.

The RTA has permitted the use of CFA piles on a limited basis as set out in BPC 2004/05.

RTA QA Specification B63 covers the construction of CFA piles.

In recent years there have been considerable improvements in the capability of CFA piling rigs, piling
instrumentation and concrete mixes suitable for CFA piles.

Information

Following a trial of CFA piling carried out on the Tarcutta Hume Alliance a review of the conditions and
limitations of use of CFA has been carried out and are set out below.

It is intended that RTA QA Specification B63 will be revised in the future to incorporate the construction
requirements specified below.

CFA piles can be constructed with a maximum diameter of 1200mm.

Bridge Technical Direction

This Bridge Technical Direction replaces BPC 2004/05, which is withdrawn.

The scope of this Bridge Technical Direction shall apply to the pile foundations of bridges. It does not
apply to soil supporting structures including retaining walls.

CFA piles can be founded in cohesive and non-cohesive soils and rock.

CFA piles are suitable for uniform soil profiles, cohesive soil formations, and cohesive soil formations
overlaying granular soil formations and granular soil formations where the soil density index of the soil
layers generally increases with depth.

CFA piles are not suitable for use in complex soil profiles with cohesive soil formations inter-bedded
with granular soil layers and with hard layers overlying soft layers. This is because the relative small
penetration of the auger per revolution can result in excessive “draw-in” of surrounding granular material
causing contamination of the concrete.

Contact: Mark Bennett
Section: New Bridge Design, Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2011/02

1 of 3
The length of socket into rock that can be achieved is dependent on the torque of the piling rig, the
strength of the rock and the nature of the overlaying soils. Reasonable socket length can be achieved in
very low to medium strength rock (UCS<10MPa) overlain by cohesive soils. However, only a short
rock socket will be possible where medium to high strength rock is overlain by granular soils due to the
risk of excessive draw-in. A trial pile installation will be required to demonstrate construction suitability
in marginal ground conditions.

In addition to ensuring suitable geological/ geotechnical conditions the following limitations of use and
construction details for CFA piles shall apply:
1. The length of the pile from the top of pile at installation to the toe of the pile shall not exceed
the limit of a single continuous auger with no breaking or unscrewing of the auger permitted
and with reinforcement to be provided over the full length of the pile.
2. CFA piles shall only be installed vertical and shall not be used as end bearing piles, where the
toe of the pile is located on the top of bedrock with a slope steeper than 1 vertical to 4
horizontal.
3. The designer shall specify a minimum of one geotechnical borehole at a pile location in each
pile group supporting each Pier Column or Abutment. Additional bore holes shall be specified
at each pile group if the distance from the borehole to the pile exceeds 4 m. The bore holes
shall be drilled prior to the construction of CFA piles with adequate laboratory and/or in-situ
testing for geotechnical parameter determination. Additional geotechnical boreholes shall be
specified where the ground conditions are complex. All of these boreholes shall be cement
grouted upon completion.
4. To ensure the workability of the concrete to allow the reinforcement cage to be inserted, CFA
piles shall only be used at sites where an uninterrupted supply of concrete can be ensured for
each pile and where travel time of the concrete agitator to site is less than 45 minutes after
adding cement to the aggregates and discharge of the concrete into the pile is completed
within 90 minutes of adding cement to the aggregates. The reinforcement cage shall be
inserted immediately after concreting.
5. The minimum nominal cover to the reinforcement shall be 100 mm but the cover spacers
provided on the reinforcement cage shall be 25 mm less than the nominal cover to facilitate
insertion of the cage. For durability purposes the cover shall be taken to be the nominal cover
minus 25mm.
6. A suitably experienced Geotechnical Engineer representing the design consultant is required to
be present during the construction of the first CFA pile group for each representative
geological condition.
7. A copy of the monitoring records of the parameters specified in Specification B63 shall be
made available to the Geotechnical Engineer within 24 hours of the completion of the pile,
where mobile phone reception is available at the site and within 48 hours otherwise. Apart
from the automatic depth reported in the records, the drilling frame shall be marked clearly at
half metre intervals for independent visual verification.
8. The amount of required concrete over-supply during concreting shall be determined prior to
any contract pile installation and appropriate to the ground conditions. The target value shall
be calculated so that the tip or toe of the auger always remains encased within the concrete.
9. All piles shall be integrity tested and representative piles that are founded in low or less
strength rock shall be load tested at the frequency nominated in BTD 2010/05.
10. The concrete volume reported by the piling instrumentation shall be checked against the
volume of concrete delivered to the pump to confirm the calibration factor for the concrete
supply.

Contact: Mark Bennett
Section: New Bridge Design, Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2011/02

2 of 3
11. To ensure the base of the pile socket is clean, a multi-pass technique with a minimum of two
passes shall be adopted. After commencement of the discharge of concrete the auger shall be
withdrawn 500 mm. The auger shall then be drilled back down to the toe of the pile to pick
up any contaminated concrete before re-commencing to concrete the pile while withdrawing
the auger. The construction/monitoring records need to show evidence of verification of the
multi pass technique.

References: BPC 2004/05, BTD 2010/05

Effective date: 25/03/2011

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
Publication on RTA’s Intranet and the Internet
The circulation list for the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
All Bridge Engineering Staff and Skill-Hire Contractors
Asset Managers, Bridge Maintenance Planners and Support Officers
Corporate Documentation Registrar
Manager, Road Information and Asset Management Technology
Manager, Project Management Office

Contact: Mark Bennett
Section: New Bridge Design, Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2011/02

3 of 3
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2011/01

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2011/01
USE OF PROPRIETARY PRECAST REINFORCED CONCRETE MODULAR
BRIDGE DECK SYSTEMS

Background

BTD 2010/01 restricted precast reinforced concrete modular deck systems to use on low speed, low
traffic roads. Circumstances have sufficiently changed that some of the restrictions on traffic volumes can
now be eased.

Information

This Bridge Technical Direction specifies the conditions of use of proprietary modular concrete bridge
deck systems by RTA and supersedes BTD2010/01, which is now withdrawn.

Bridge Technical Direction

Proprietary modular concrete bridge deck systems shall not be used for RTA bridges and those that will
become the property of the RTA, where:
• For single span bridges the posted speed limit exceeds 100 km/hour; or
• For multiple span bridges the posted speed limit exceeds 80 km/hr; or
• The current or 30 year projected Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) exceeds 1500; or
• The current or 30 year projected Average Annual Daily Truck Traffic (AADTT) exceeds 500.

Where proprietary modular concrete bridge deck systems are used, the following conditions shall apply:
a) The bridge and its components shall be designed in accordance with AS 5100 and constructed
in accordance with relevant RTA QA specifications;
b) All deck units shall be pre-cambered to compensate for dead load, shrinkage and creep
deflections so that long-term sagging does not occur;
c) Detailed analyses shall be carried out on the effects of load shedding and traffic barrier loading
to ensure that the design stresses for the edge beam reinforcement will not exceed the limits
specified in AS 5100.5;
d) The anchorage of the main positive moment reinforcement past the inside face of the bearings
shall be in accordance with Clause 8.1.8 of AS 5100.5. Where cogged or hooked bars are used,
the drawings shall specify that the reinforcing bars are to be accurately bent to the required
dimensions, to ensure correct cover at the ends of the units;
e) Adjacent deck units shall be transversely prestressed or connected by in-situ reinforced concrete
stitch pours to ensure full transverse flexural continuity;
f) Full depth diaphragms shall be provided at the ends of all deck units. Intermediate diaphragms shall
be provided as required;
g) Diaphragms shall be designed to be fully prestressed under serviceability loading;

Contact: Warren Stalder
Section: RTA Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0241
File nos: 94M3917 and 99M1468
Circular Number: BTD2011/01

1 of 2
h) As an alternative to in-situ grouting of transverse tendons in accordance with RTA QA
Specification B113, factory pre-grouted tendons in polyethylene sheathing may be used. In this
case, the tendons shall be taken to be un-bonded;
i) The number of transverse deck expansion joints shall be minimised and shall have a minimum
spacing of not less than 25m;
j) Where applicable, gaps in shear keys and between adjacent precast units shall be fully sealed to
prevent leakage during grouting. In particular, leakage of grout on the bearing shelf shall be
prevented to avoid compromising the performance of any bearing; and
k) Proprietary modular concrete bridge deck systems are required to incorporate a waterproof
membrane in order to comply with BPC2003/02.

References: BPC2003/02, BTD2010/01

Effective date: 18/03/2011

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
Publication on RTA’s Intranet and the Internet
The circulation list for the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
All Bridge Engineering Staff and Skill-Hire Contractors
Asset Managers, Bridge Maintenance Planners and Support Officers
Corporate Documentation Registrar
Manager, Road Information and Asset Management Technology
Manager, Project Management Office

Contact: Warren Stalder
Section: RTA Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0241
File nos: 94M3917 and 99M1468
Circular Number: BTD2011/01

2 of 2
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2010/04

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2010/04
ISSUE OF NEW STANDARD BRIDGE DRAWING
ISSUE OF NEW STANDARD BRIDGE DRAWING No RTAB100 – DESIGN
AND CONSTRUCTION AND ALLIANCE TEAM PROJECT DRAWING SHEET

Background

The development of bridge and related projects by Design and Construction and Alliance teams has
seen the need to develop a standard A1 size drawing template that provides space for participants’
names and can be used for both bridge and road construction drawings.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB100 has been prepared for use by Design and Construction and
Alliance teams so that there can be consistency of drawing presentation for projects developed for the
RTA, irrespective of design discipline.

Information

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB100 provides for the inclusion of both the design consultant’s
and construction company’s details, a revision schedule and necessary computer reference file details.

Bridge Technical Direction

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB100 shall be used for Design and Construction contracts or by
Alliance teams for any bridge or bridge related project that is developed for the RTA or for any project
that will become the property of the RTA in the future, effective from the date of this Circular.

Effective date: 14/10/2010

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
Publication on RTA’s Intranet and the Internet
The circulation list for the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
All Bridge Engineering Staff and Skill-Hire Contractors
Asset Managers, Bridge Maintenance Planners and Support Officers
Corporate Documentation Registrar
Manager, Road Information and Asset Management Technology
Manager, Project Management Office

Contact: Mark Bennett
Section: Bridge Engineering (New Design)
Telephone no: 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2010/04

1 of 1
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2010/03

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2010/03
PRETENSIONED BRIDGE MEMBERS – CONCRETE TRANSFER STRENGTH
REQUIREMENTS

Background

Chief Bridge Engineer Circular, CBE No 94/6 (CBE1994/06), introduced a limit on the transfer strength
of pre-tensioned bridge members to 35 MPa. The main purpose of this limit was to restrict the 28 day
strength to 50 MPa for ductility reasons and to reduce costs.

It is now considered that the higher strength mixes are better understood by designers and constructors
and more often utilised for bridge products in order to reduce overall cost.

Bridge Technical Direction

The concrete transfer strength used in the design of pre-tensioned bridge members for RTA owned
bridges should not be greater than 40 MPa without the written approval of the Principal Bridge Engineer.

CBE1994/06 is withdrawn.
References: CBE1994/06
Effective date: 8/10/2010
Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
Publication on RTA’s Intranet and the Internet
The circulation list for the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
All Bridge Engineering Staff and Skill-Hire Contractors
Asset Managers, Bridge Maintenance Planners and Support Officers
Corporate Documentation Registrar
Manager, Road Information and Asset Management Technology
Manager, Project Management Office

Contact: Warren Stalder
Section: Policy & Specifications, RTA Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0241
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2010/03

1 of 1
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2010/02

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2010/02
TIMBER BRIDGE DESIGN - ADOPTION OF AS 1720.1-2010

Background

Since the introduction of the limit state design method in the Austroads Bridge Design Code in 1992,
there has not been an associated limit state timber bridge design code. The last applicable code was the
working stress design version in the 1976 NAASRA Bridge Design Specification.

For timber design, this code invoked AS 1720:1975 SAA Timber Structures Code. Since 1975 there
have been three further editions produced of AS 1720, in 1988, 1997, and most recently in June 2010.
The amendments made since 1975 have significant implications for the design strengths of timber
members. The 2010 edition in particular offers significant benefits in design.

Bridge Technical Direction

The limit state timber design code AS1720.1-2010 shall be used until further notice for the design of
new timber bridges and for timber bridge assessment and rehabilitation designs for RTA bridges and
those that will become the property of the RTA.

AS 1720.1-2010 shall be used in conjunction with the attached appendices:
• Appendix A – Design Loading for Timber Bridges
• Appendix B – Timber Bridge Design Parameters
• Appendix C – Modelling Guidelines for Timber

Effective date: 20/9/2010

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
Publication on RTA’s Intranet and the Internet
The circulation list for the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
All Bridge Engineering Staff and Skill-Hire Contractors
Asset Managers, Bridge Maintenance Planners and Support Officers
Corporate Documentation Registrar
Manager, Road Information and Asset Management Technology
Manager, Project Management Office

Contact: Amie Nicholas
Section: Rehabilitation Design, RTA Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0836
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2010/02

1 of 6
APPENDIX A: DESIGN LOADINGS FOR TIMBER BRIDGES

Design loadings for timber bridges shall comply with AS 5100.2, excluding only Sections 5, 6 and 9.

The minimum additional design loadings and load factors for timber bridges shall be as follows:

Dead Loads

The minimum dead load per unit volume of any timber component shall be taken as 11 kN/m3.

The design dead loads and superimposed dead loads for serviceability and ultimate limit states shall be
obtained by applying the appropriate load factor in Table 1 to the nominal loads on the structure.

Where the dead load is calculated from the dimensions shown on the drawings, the “design case” load
factor applies. Where an assessment of an existing member is being undertaken, and dead load is
calculated from actual dimensions measured on site, the “direct measurement” load factor applies.

Care shall be taken to ensure that all metal components (such as cast metal shoes and splice plates) are
included in dead load calculations. A load factor of 1.1 shall be applied to metal components.

Live Loads

Design live loads shall comply with the following clauses of AS 5100.7 Appendix A, with the load factors
in Table 1 below:
• A2.2.2 T44 Truck Loading;
• A2.2.5 Number of Lanes for Design and Lateral Position of Loads;
• A2.2.6 Modification Factors for Multiple Lane Bridges; and
• A2.2.7 Design for Localised Load Effects – W7 Wheel Loading.

The Dynamic Load Allowance (DLA) for timber bridges shall not be less than 0.2 irrespective of the
expected vehicle speed. The DLA applies to both the ultimate and serviceability limit states.

The design action is equal to: (1 + DLA) x load factor x action under consideration.

Braking effects of traffic shall be considered as a longitudinal force acting at deck surface level. Braking
forces shall be applied in either direction. Irrespective of the width of the structure, the nominal
longitudinal force shall not be less than 200 kN, with the load factors in Table 1.1

To ensure that the superstructure has sufficient lateral restraint to resist lateral forces not otherwise
allowed for in the design, a positive lateral restraint system between the superstructure and the
substructure shall be provided at abutments and piers. The restraint system shall be capable of resisting
a minimum ultimate design horizontal force perpendicular to the bridge centreline of 200 kN at each
abutment and pier, which need not be loaded concurrently. A load factor of 1.0 shall be used.

1
This nominal braking force of 200kN is the minimum requirement of AS5100, and is approximately equivalent to
a T44 truck braking with a deceleration of 0.45g. This also corresponds to a 42.5 tonne vehicle (current legal load)
stopping with a deceleration of 0.48g. Testing in Australia has shown that for general driving conditions in a
60km/h speed zone, trucks decelerate at approximately 0.3g (stopping distance of 47m), but in urgent situations
trucks have been shown to achieve decelerations up to 0.75g (stopping distance of 19m). The Australian design
rules require braking systems to be capable of decelerating heavy vehicles at a minimum rate of approximately
0.45g. The ultimate limit state braking forces that have been adopted correspond to a range of mass and
deceleration rates that are considered reasonable for the expected traffic conditions on RTA timber bridges.

Contact: Amie Nicholas
Section: Rehabilitation Design, RTA Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0836
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2010/02

2 of 6
Table 1: Load Factors for Timber Bridge Design
Type of Load Serviceability Ultimate Limit States
Limit State Load Reduces Safety Load Increases Safety
Dead Load (design case) 1.0 1.4 0.8
Dead Load (direct measurement) 1.0 1.2 0.9
Superimposed Load 1.0 2.0 0
W7 Wheel Loading + DLA 1.0 2.0 N/A
T44 Truck Loading + DLA 1.0 2.0 N/A
Braking Force 1.0 1.8 N/A

APPENDIX B: TIMBER BRIDGE DESIGN PARAMETERS

Capacity Factor (φ)

Values of capacity factor (φ) for calculating the design capacity of structural members (Rd) and structural
joints (Nd) shall be taken from AS 1720.1-2010 Tables 2.1 and 2.2, Category 3 (primary structural
members or joints in structures intended to fulfil an essential service or post disaster function).

For example,
φ = 0.75 for sawn timber (F-grades F17 and higher)
φ = 0.60 for round timbers
φ = 0.60 for bolts larger than M16
φ = 0.75 for bolts M16 and smaller

Values of capacity factor (φ) for calculating the design capacity of secondary members (such as deck
planking, sheeting, timber railings, or other members whose failure could not result in collapse of a
significant portion of the structure) or joints in such members may be taken from AS 1720.1-2010 Tables
2.1 and 2.2 Category 1 (secondary members in structures other than houses).

Characteristic Values for Design

The characteristic strength properties in bending, tension, compression and shear and characteristic
stiffnesses for the design of structural timber elements shall be taken from AS 1720.1-2010 Table H2.1.

The relevant portion of AS 1720.1-2010 Table H2.1 is replicated in Table 2, with notes as follows.

• The characteristic values in Table 2 for bending apply for beams not greater than 300 mm in
depth. For beams greater than 300 mm depth the characteristic values shall be obtained by
multiplying the value in Table 2 by (300/d)0.167, where d is the depth of the section.

• The characteristic values in Table 2 for tension apply for tension members with largest cross-
sectional dimension not greater than 150 mm. For tension members with a cross-sectional
dimension greater than 150 mm, the characteristic values shall be obtained by multiplying the
value in Table 2 by (150/d)0.167, where d is the width or largest dimension of the cross-section.

Contact: Amie Nicholas
Section: Rehabilitation Design, RTA Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0836
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2010/02

3 of 6
Table 2: Characteristic Values for Timber Design (MPa)

Stress Bending Tension Shear in Compression Modulus of elasticity Modulus of
Grade (f’b) parallel to beam (f’s) parallel to grain parallel to grain (E) rigidity (G)
grain (f’t) (f’c)

F27 67 42 5.1 51 18 500 1 230

F22 55 34 4.2 42 16 000 1 070

F17 42 25 3.6 34 14 000 930

When determining the appropriate stress grade, reference shall be made to RTA QC Specification 2380,
Table 2380/1, Strength and Durability Requirements. In the absence of information to the contrary, the
minimum stress grade given in RTA 2380, Table 2380/1 shall be used for design purposes.

Duration of Load Factor k1

Values for the duration of load factor k1 for the strength of timber shall be as follows:
• k1 = 0.57 for permanent actions e.g., dead load, superimposed load, loads due to earth pressure
• k1 = 0.80 for serviceability live load
• k1 = 0.97 for ultimate live load
• k1 = 1.00 for other ultimate actions e.g., braking force, minimum lateral restraint, log impact

Values for k1 for the strength of joints with laterally loaded fasteners shall be as follows:
• k1 = 0.57 for permanent actions e.g., dead load, superimposed load, loads due to earth pressure
• k1 = 0.69 for serviceability live load
• k1 = 0.86 for ultimate live load
• k1 = 1.00 for other ultimate actions e.g., braking force, minimum lateral restraint, log impact

Note that in accordance with Clause 2.4.1.1, for any given combination of loads of differing duration, the
factor k1 to be used is that appropriate to the action that is of the shortest duration. For example, when
considering ultimate dead load plus ultimate live load, the appropriate member k1 factor is 0.97.

Generally, the forces due to dead load in most timber elements in a bridge are quite small compared to
those caused by live loads. However, some components in large span trusses may be subjected to
relatively high dead load forces. Dead load should, therefore, also be considered by itself or combined
with other permanent loads in such cases using k1 of 0.57 for permanent actions.

Strength Sharing Factor k9

The strength sharing factor k9 is only applicable to the design of members for bending. One basic
condition for its application is that for a parallel system (such as girders in a timber deck), in the event of
the failure of a single supporting member (such as a girder) then the overlying members (such as decking
planks) shall be capable of transferring loads to adjacent supporting members. In such cases, if decking
planks have insufficient strength to transfer the load with one girder missing, then k9 shall be taken as 1.0.
The method outlined in Appendix C, “Distribution of Wheel Loads on Timber Decks” shall be used to
determine the number of planks assumed to carry the load.

Contact: Amie Nicholas
Section: Rehabilitation Design, RTA Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0836
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2010/02

4 of 6
Detailing of Joints – Factors k16 and k17 for Bolted Joints

Thick steel side plates can increase the capacity of a bolt in bearing on the timber by restricting bolt
rotation within the members. In order for this to be effective, the plate must be thick enough to give
effective bending restraint against forces in either direction. The plate must also be stiff enough in
bearing to provide the angular restraint to the bolt that is needed to induce double curvature in it.

When deciding upon a value of k16 the following shall be considered:
• k16 shall generally be taken as 1.0; and
• k16 may be taken as 1.2 for bolts that transfer load through two metal side plates, one on each
side of the timber, only where the bolts are a close fit to the holes in these plates, and where
metal plates are of adequate strength and stiffness to induce double curvature in the bolt.

In accordance with AS 1720.1-2010 Clause 1.4.4.4, when using unseasoned timber, consideration shall
be given to the effects of shrinkage. For most timbers, the magnitude of shrinkage is in the range of 0.1%
to 0.3% in the direction of the wood grain and 2% to 10% transverse to the grain. According to
Clause 4.4.3.2, the possibility of restraint to timber shrinkage due to the detailing of bolted joints in
unseasoned timber causes a loss of capacity equivalent to specifying half the number of bolts. In addition
to the loss of capacity, there is a risk to durability of the timber through inducing premature splitting and
allowing moisture ingress. Joints shall therefore be detailed to ensure no restraint to timber shrinkage.

Two examples are shown in Figure 1 below of poor detailing which restrains timber shrinkage.

UNSEASONED TIMBER MEMBER
STEEL PLATE

SPLITTING UNSEASONED TIMBER MEMBER

SHRINKAGE DIRECTION
TIMBER MEMBER

Figure 1: Timber shrinkage restrained by steel plate and by longitudinal grain (i.e., k17 = 0.5)

Round Timbers – Shaving Factor k21

Where round timbers are used (such as in pier trestles or girders), these shall be designed and assessed
in accordance with Section 6 of AS1720.1-2010. Where these members are shaved on one or more
faces, assume that the shaving will reduce the modulus of elasticity by 5% in accordance with
Clause 6.4.2. The shaving factor k21 shall be taken from Table 6.3, except for the case of bending where
only the compression face of the round timber is shaved. For this case, k21 may be taken as 0.95. This
situation will commonly occur in the case of girder spans, where the tops of the girders are shaved to
provide a flat bearing surface for the decking.

Contact: Amie Nicholas
Section: Rehabilitation Design, RTA Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0836
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2010/02

5 of 6
APPENDIX C: MODELLING GUIDELINES FOR TIMBER

General Considerations

The majority of traditional timber bridge designs utilise systems that do not provide a high degree of
composite action or continuity between components. In addition, the systems are usually quite
susceptible to the effects of repeated loads and so the structural response can change with time.

In general, regardless of any refined analytical methods that may be used (such as grillage or frame
analysis), a simplified conservative analysis shall also be performed for comparison. This simplified
method shall assume no continuity in members and simple supports. If the simplified method displays
inadequate strength, then the two methods shall be compared to determine how much improvement in
performance is needed. It is usually unlikely that a timber system will perform as an integral unit except
in the case of Stress Laminated Timber (SLT) deck systems. The timber system will perform somewhere
in between, depending on the bridge’s condition.

Distribution of Wheel Loads on Timber Decks

Whilst it is possible to analyse a timber girder and decking system as a grillage, this assumes that the deck
is a two-way continuous structure and may provide a non-conservative result. Guidelines are therefore
given below regarding how to distribute vehicular loadings to timber bridges.

For timber decks that do not have any sheeting, only those components directly in contact with the
design wheel (tyre) load will share the load. This will depend upon the following variables:
• Design load under consideration (i.e. T44 or W7);
• Orientation of the decking (transverse or diagonal); and
• Width of the decking.

Typically, the decking is transverse and is usually wider than 200 mm. In this case, the wheel contact
length of 200 mm will be carried by only one deck plank. The span of the decking without sheeting
should be taken as the clear distance between the supports and assumed to be simply supported.
Although physically the decking is continuous over the girders, it will rarely act as a continuous member
unless all the bolts across the deck for all the decking are very tight at all times. The latter is impractical,
rarely achieved and never maintained. The conservatism introduced by assuming a simply supported
span is offset slightly by assuming the span is the clear distance between supporting girders.

For timber decks that are overlaid with sheeting, some additional distribution of load can be assumed to
take place. The number of deck planks sharing the load will depend upon the following variables:
• Design load under consideration (i.e., T44 or W7);
• Orientation of the decking (transverse or diagonal);
• Width and depth of the decking; and
• Depth of the sheeting.

Typically, the sheeting is longitudinal on transverse decking. The load can be assumed to disperse
through the sheeting and decking at an angle of 56° (consistent with the principle of disregarding design
shear actions within a distance of 1.5 times the depth of a member). The distribution width (in the
direction of the traffic) would therefore be equal to (contact length = 200) + (3 x depth of sheeting) +
(depth of decking) rounded up to the nearest full number. For example, with 75mm sheeting and 100
mm decking, the assumed distribution width for the deck is 200 + (3 x 75) + 100 = 525 mm. The
number of deck planks supporting the load may then be calculated as (distribution width) / (plank width),
so for 200 mm wide decking, this gives 2.6 which would then be rounded up to 3 deck planks.

Contact: Amie Nicholas
Section: Rehabilitation Design, RTA Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0836
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2010/02

6 of 6
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2009/02

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2009/02
MANAGEMENT OF BRIDGE REHABILITATION DESIGN PROJECTS

Background

Procedures for the management of bridge rehabilitation design projects have been revised to ensure
quality advice and design are provided which meet the timeframes required for maintenance work to
proceed, and ensure the timely delivery of the RTA’s Bridge Maintenance Program.

This Technical Direction sets out the agreement between Infrastructure Asset Management Branch,
Bridge Rehabilitation Design Section of Bridge Engineering and RTA's Regions in the delivery of bridge
rehabilitation designs.

Information

Preparation of detailed designs for bridge rehabilitation works can be very complex, involving significant
lead times for the various design stages and for environmental assessment. This is especially the case
with older heritage classified bridges.

As well, the Bridge Maintenance Program allocates funds for bridge maintenance work on the basis of
keeping a consistent risk profile for RTA’s bridges across NSW.

Accordingly, it is important that bridge rehabilitation design work across the State is coordinated and
managed effectively, the bridge design needs and the progress of designs are communicated and
coordinated effectively, and innovation is transferred from one job to the next.

Close alliance between Infrastructure Asset Management Branch, Bridge Engineering and the Regions are
essential to achieve these objectives.

Bridge Technical Direction

Bridge rehabilitation design projects shall be managed as follows.

• Master Schedule
The Master Schedule comprises a 3 year rolling bridge rehabilitation design schedule, showing design
projects to be carried out in-house and outsourced and the broad timeframes for concept design,
approval, detailed design and the planned construction period.
Only those projects on the Master Schedule shall be designed in accordance with the time frame
specified therein.
The Master Schedule shall be reviewed 3 times per year in April, August and December, and re-
issued.

Contact: Lakshman Prasad
Section: Rehabilitation Design, Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0832
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2009/02

1 of 2
• Design Project – Commencement
A project brief shall be provided from the Region requesting design work. A template for the project
brief is attached (Attachment A). Design work shall not commence without this brief being provided.
Bridge Rehabilitation Design Section will consult with the Region and then respond to the brief with
a project plan to be agreed to by the Region. A template for the project plan is attached
(Attachment B).
The agreed timeframes in the project plan may change due to scope changes and delays outside the
control of Bridge Rehabilitation Design Section. In such instances the reasons for changes shall be
forwarded to Regions for concurrence.

• Design Project - Execution
Each of the key design stages - concept design, environmental/heritage assessment and final design -
require consultation and approval/agreement between Bridge Rehabilitation Section and the Region.
Setting and determining the technical aspects for the design project shall be detailed on Form 62R.
Form 62R shall be completed by Bridge Rehabilitation Design Section and forwarded to the Region
for concurrence to the concept design.
A final design report shall be prepared on completion of the detailed design by Bridge Rehabilitation
Design Section detailing departures from the agreed Form 62R.
Bridge Rehabilitation Design Section shall provide each Region with reports every 2 months on the
progress of each design project.

• Use of External Consultants
Projects to be outsourced to external consultants shall be selected based on their technical risk to
the RTA. Outsourced work shall be managed through Bridge Rehabilitation Design Section. Projects
agreed by the Senior Bridge Engineer, Bridge Rehabilitation Design as being low technical risk may be
managed by the Region.
The management requirements for design projects carried out by external consultants shall be the
same as for in-house design projects.

• Communication
The monitoring of the progress of the projects on the Master Schedule shall be the responsibility of
the designated Program Manager. Technical bridge design issues shall be addressed by the respective
Supervising Bridge Engineer.

Effective date: 14/07/2009

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
Publication on RTA’s Intranet and the Internet
The circulation list for the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
All Bridge Engineering Staff and Skill-Hire Contractors
Corporate Documentation Registrar
Manager, Road Information and Asset Management Technology
Manager, Project Management Office

Contact: Lakshman Prasad
Section: Rehabilitation Design, Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0832
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2009/02

2 of 2
Attachment A

xxxx Region
Brief for Design of Rehabilitation Works

on

XXXX Bridge (BN XXX)
Date: xxxxxx

1.0 Introduction

(This should be a very short description of the work required under the brief.)

2.0 Bridge Location

3.0 Background

(Provide a clear description of the bridge, outline what is the issue, advise what has
been done to date, indicate the potential solution if known, and advise the urgency
for repair.)

4.0 Design Requirements
(Outline any requirements which should be taken into account during the design, and
outline the design work required under the brief. The sub headings below are
suggestions.)

4.1 General
4.2 Assumptions and Parameters
4.3 Heritage and Other Requirements
4.4 Concept Design
4.5 Detail Design

5.0 Output Requirements

(Sample below)

Item Requirement Due Date
1) Project Program Region to advise milestones for completion of stages
and Cost along with a cost estimate.
Estimate
2) Communication Bridge Rehabilitation Section to submit a brief
electronic report every 2 months to ensure the
Region is kept fully informed of the status of the
project. Liaise with the Region as required to discuss
and resolve project related issues as they arise.
3) Concept Design Bridge Rehabilitation Section to prepare and submit a
concept design report for the preferred rehabilitation
options.

BTD2009/02 Page 1 of 2
4) Review Meeting Stakeholders to attend concept design review
meeting via teleconference to discuss the details in
the concept design report and to determine which
option is selected for the project.
6) Detailed Design Bridge Rehabilitation Section to prepare and submit
the detailed design report.

6.0 Date for Completion of Work under the Brief

(Advise the due date for completion of work under the brief and the reason the date
was selected, for example urgent repairs (reference point 3.0 above). Also confirm
the availability of funding and the expected date for start of construction work.)

7.0 Bridge Engineering Proposal and Estimate

A proposal from Bridge Engineering to complete this brief, including a project
program and estimated cost is required before work proceeds.
Bridge Engineering is to advise its contact person.

8.0 Attachments

Eg. Inspection reports, investigations, survey etc.,

9.0 Contact Persons

The Regional representative for this design project is xxxx.

10.0 Photographs

Authorised:

BTD2009/02 Page 2 of 2
Attachment B

BRIDGE REHABILITATION DESIGN PROJECT PLAN
<Bridge Name, location and number>
1 INTRODUCTION

1.1 GENERAL

Bridge Engineering has been engaged by <Client> to undertake <Description of the Works>
as described in its brief of <date>.

1.2 PURPOSE OF PROJECT PLAN

The purpose of this Project Plan is to advise Regions how the projects will be delivered to
meet their expectations.

¾ Clarifying the project objectives in terms of scope, time, cost and quality.
¾ Identifying the organisational structure necessary to deliver the project and clarifying the
key roles and responsibilities of each section or individual in the structure.
¾ Clarifying lines of communication, hold points and proposed reporting.
¾ Outlining the project delivery schedule and resources required.

2 PROJECT DESCRIPTION
2.1 BACKGROUND

3 PROJECT OBJECTIVES

4 PROJECT SCOPE
4.1 Scope Statement

4.2 Assumptions/Constraints
The following assumptions are made;
The following are constraints on achieving project objectives;

4.3 Exclusions
The following items are excluded from the Scope of work;

4.4 Related Projects

5 PROJECT RESOURCING

5.1 Key Personnel
Following are the key people involved in the delivery management of the project

• The Region’s representative for the design project is
<Title>, <Section> , Name> ph <phone>
and is responsible for <responsibility>

• Senior Bridge Engineer (Rehabilitation Design) or Representative is.
<Title>, <Section> , Name> ph <phone>
and is responsible for resource allocation for the programme, project management and
communication to the Region’s representative

• Project Designer is
<Title>, <Section> , Name> ph <phone>
and is responsible for execution of design activities in accordance with this project plan.

BTD2009/02 Page 1 of 2
5.2 Other Resources

6 COMMUNICATION

6.1 Communication with Client

Meetings
Reports

6.2 Communication with Others

7 PROJECT DELIVERABLES

Output Due Date

8 PROJECT RISKS

Risk Risk Status (H,M & L) Response

9 PROJECT MANAGEMENT

9.1 Estimate
The cost estimate for the delivery of the programme of works is <$XX,XXX>. Details are
shown in Attachment 1.

9.2 Scheduling
A bar chart showing the delivery of the <list phases or major activities>, project decision hold
points and timeframes is shown in Attachment 2.

9.3 Scope, Time and Cost Control
The approved schedule will be monitored to control time. Costs will be monitored on a
monthly basis and tabulated into a performance table. Any variances from the approved time
and cost schedule will be raised in the Clients monthly report and reasons for the variance.

Any time and cost variations to the project as a result of Clients instruction or an event outside
the Scope of works will be forwarded to the Client for approval prior to updating the budget
limits and time schedule.

9.4 Quality Assurance

9.4.1 Quality System
The project will be delivered under the Engineering Technology Branch Quality
System.

9.4.2 Risk Management
Risk Management will be incorporated, and risks will be reviewed and further
developed early in the project. Consider the risks associated with developing and
delivering the design, constructability and ongoing bridge maintenance and operation
and address the interests of key stakeholders. Review and develop at project team
meetings and report on in project progress reports.

Project Plan prepared by:

BTD2009/02 Page 2 of 2
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2009/01_Rev1

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2009/01
DESIGN OF SIGN STRUCTURES

Background

Recently several large sign structures have failed in NSW and Victoria.

Investigations have revealed that these failures resulted from a combination of factors.

The design provisions of AS 5100 for sign structures are not sufficiently comprehensive and do not
provide adequate guidance for the consideration of fatigue in the design of these structures.

Information

Similar failures have occurred overseas. Considerable research has been carried out in the USA and UK
to develop fatigue design rules for sign structures. Interim design provisions and construction details have
been developed based on this research.

Bridge Technical Direction

The following interim provisions and construction details shall apply for the design of sign structures for
RTA and those that will become the property of RTA:

1. Sign structures shall be designed for ultimate wind forces calculated in accordance with
AS/NZS 1170.2, including wind striking the sign at 45º. The values for drag coefficient Cd specified in
AS 5100.2 shall not be used.

2. Sign structures shall be designed for fatigue in accordance with Section 11 of AASHTO Standard
Specifications for Structural Supports for Highway Signs, Luminaires and Traffic Signals, 4th Edition
2001, with Interims to 2006, or later Editions.

These fatigue provisions shall apply to the design of all types of signs (including Variable Message
Signs), traffic signals and lighting structures. Structures that cantilever over, or could fall onto marked
traffic lanes, shall be taken as Fatigue Category I to determine the appropriate Fatigue Importance
Factor in Table 11-1 of the AASHTO specification. All other structures shall be taken as Fatigue
Category III.

The natural wind gust fatigue loading shall be taken to act normal to the sign.

3. Anchors shall be Grade 4.6 or less, and be fabricated in a rag bolt assembly so that they can be
accurately positioned, to eliminate the need for recesses in the footing.

4. The base plate shall be at least as thick as the nominal anchor diameter.

Contact: Mark Bennett
Section: New Bridge Design, Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2009/01_Rev1

1 of 2
5 The base plate shall be held with a double nut moment joint, consisting of a standard height levelling
nut and washer below the base plate, and washer and top nut above the base plate, on each anchor.
All nuts shall comply with AS 1112.2 or be property class 5 to AS 1112.3.

6. The maximum unsupported length of the anchor from the top of the footing to the bottom of the
levelling nut shall be one anchor diameter.

7. All levelling nuts shall be accurately installed to the same level and top nuts tightened to just past
snug tight.

8. Base plates shall be grouted with a non-shrink grout in accordance with the manufacturer’s
instructions, with satisfactory performance at each project proven prior to use by carrying out a trial
base plate installation.

However, the bearing of the base plate on the concrete or grout shall be neglected in determining
the load effects on the anchor bolts.

Revision 1
Effective date: 22/06/2009 Date: 26/03/2010

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
Publication on RTA’s Intranet and the Internet
The circulation list for the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
All Bridge Engineering Staff and Skill-Hire Contractors
Corporate Documentation Registrar
Manager, Road Information and Asset Management Technology
Manager, Project Management Office

Contact: Mark Bennett
Section: New Bridge Design, Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2009/01_Rev1

2 of 2
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2008/17

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2008/17
CHANGES TO STANDARD BRIDGE DRAWINGS
RC LINK SLAB FOR SUPER T GIRDER DECKS

Background

Further to Bridge Technical Direction BTD2008/09 Link Slabs for Precast Pretensioned Concrete Girder
Bridges, the RTA Bridge Standard Drawing RTAB057 has been developed for reinforced concrete link
slabs at piers for Super-T girder decks for concrete exposure classification B1. RTAB057 gives more
details than the more general Figure 1 in BTD 2008/09.

Bridge Technical Direction

RTA Bridge Standard Drawing RTAB057 RC Link Slab at Piers for Super-T Girder Decks shall be used
for all RTA funded bridges and for those that will become the property of RTA.

Where the design assumptions on the drawing are exceeded or where the reinforcement is specified as
minimum the designer shall determine whether amendments to the drawing details are required.

Reference: BTD2008/09

Effective date: 12/09/2008

Approved: Craig Gibbons
A/Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of RTA Standard Bridge Drawings
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Rajanthi Ravindra (Mark Bennett)
Section: New Design, Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0811
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2008/17

1 of 1
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2008/16

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2008/16
TIMBER BRIDGE MANUAL

Background
Historically maintenance and rehabilitation of timber bridges by RTA and councils was guided by NSW
Department of Main Roads publications Manual No. 6 – Bridge Maintenance – 1962, reissued 1983 and
Timber Truss Bridge Maintenance Handbook – 1987.
The draft Timber Bridge Manual (TBM) was produced for RTA in 2000 to replace these publications and
was issued as a “draft for comment” in 2002, placed on TOPIC and used at Timber Bridge Schools.
The draft Manual has now been reviewed and partly updated. Once the new RTA bridge maintenance
specifications are finalised, a full technical review of the TBM will occur to ensure alignment.
The TBM covers all timber bridge types including trusses, beam spans, stress laminated timber deck
bridges, concrete overlays, timber-concrete composites and timber substructures. It provides guidance
on structure types, inspection, routine and preventive maintenance, rehabilitation and repairs, engineering
design, detailing and durability, timber supply and relevant specifications.
The Timber Bridge Manual is available on the following RTA web sites:
Intranet at: http://home.rta.nsw.gov.au/org/techinfo/key_tech_docs/manuals/index.html
Internet at:
http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/constructionmaintenance/maintenance/timberbridges/timberbridgemanual.html

Bridge Technical Direction
The RTA Timber Bridge Manual should be used by designers and field personnel for guidance in the
maintenance, repair and rehabilitation of all RTA timber bridges and those funded by the RTA. Where
the TBM is inconsistent with RTA specifications or Bridge Technical Directions, the latter shall take
precedence.
This Bridge Technical Direction withdraws BPC 2002/10.
References: BPC 2002/10
Effective date: 30/06/2008
Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of RTA Standard Bridge Drawings
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Policy & Specifications, RTA Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2008/16

1 of 1
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2008/15

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2008/15
CONCRETE PARAPETS ON PEDESTRIAN OVERBRIDGES

Background

Due to incidents involving children, use of “U” shaped concrete girders where the sides form the bridge
parapets was excluded near schools or in residential areas by Bridge Design Instruction No 86/6
(BDI 1986/06).

Information

Now that safety screens are provided on RTA pedestrian bridges, the use of this type of bridge has been
reviewed. These bridges usually have smaller deflections and have good dynamic performance compared
with other types of pedestrian bridges. This form of construction is relatively cheap. As the slab of the
“U” shaped concrete girder is the walking surface, the height of the approach ramps can be kept lower
than is possible with other bridge types.

Bridge Technical Direction

“U” shaped concrete girder bridges can be used for pedestrian bridges for RTA or for those bridges that
will become the property of RTA if full length and height safety screens are installed.

This Bridge Technical Direction withdraws BDI 1986/06.

References: BDI 1986/06

Effective date: 6/06/2008

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of RTA Standard Bridge Drawings
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Policy & Specifications, RTA Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2008/15

1 of 1
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2008/14

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2008/14
CHANGES TO STANDARD BRIDGE DRAWINGS
SPACED PLANKS - STANDARD DRAWINGS
Background
RTA has for many years typically used side by side PSC planks with a cast in-place concrete deck as
superstructures for short span bridges.
With increasing load requirements and traffic volumes together with more stringent durability
requirements the size of the planks and the thickness and reinforcement in the cast in-place concrete
decks has progressively been increased.
Plank type superstructures using spaced planks with a nominal 300mm wide gap between the planks offer
the following advantages over side by side plank superstructures:
• Economy by using approximately one third less planks;
• More transverse flexibility in the deck which reduces potential longitudinal cracking.
Spaced plank type construction does have a disadvantage compared to side by side plank construction of
higher Occupation Health & Safety risks during the placement of permanent formwork sheeting between
the planks, but the benefits offered are considered to outweigh the slightly increased OH&S risks.
Information
RTA has developed RTA Standard Bridge Drawings Nos RTAB080 to RTAB092 inclusive for spaced PSC
planks covering a span range from 7m to 18m inclusive.
Bridge Technical Direction
Spaced plank superstructures may be used as an alternative to side by side planks. If used the design details
shall be in accordance with RTA Bridge Standard Drawing Nos RTAB080 to RTAB092 inclusive unless
otherwise approved by the RTA Senior Bridge Engineer (New Design).
Link slab details for spaced plank superstructures shall be in accordance with RTA Standard Bridge
Drawing No. RTAB034 RC Link Slab at Piers for PSC Plank Decks, but the designer should check if the
size of the bottom transverse reinforcement and the deck thickness need to be increased.
The typical gap between spaced planks shall be limited to a maximum of 320mm except for special
circumstances such as a span with a variable width deck. The permanent formwork sheeting shall be
18mm thick fibre cement sheeting glued in place using construction quality flexible adhesive.
References: RTA Standard Bridge Drawings Nos RTAB034 and RTAB080 to RTAB092
Effective date: 26/05/2008
Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer
DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of RTA Standard Bridge Drawings
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Colyn Jones
Section: New Design, Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0803
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2008/14

1 of 1
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2008/13

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2008/13
PROVISIONS FOR FUTURE CATHODIC PROTECTION OF REINFORCED
CONCRETE BRIDGES
Background
Provisions for future cathodic protection of new bridges have been specified on major roads such as the
Pacific Highway, Hume Highway, M7 Motorway and others. This Bridge Technical Direction extends the
practice, where required by site conditions, to new RTA bridges and to bridges that will become the
property of RTA.
Information and Bridge Technical Direction
Except where stainless steel reinforcement or corrosion inhibitors are used, provisions shall be made for
possible future cathodic protection of all reinforcement in the following reinforced concrete elements in
locations of severe exposure classification (B2, C or U based on B2 or more severe exposure
classification):
• Elements below permanent or final ground level;
• Elements below permanent surface water level;
• Elements over permanent water including immersed elements or those in tidal or splash zones of
such bridges.
Adequate testing shall be carried out to assess the severity of the exposure. For the purposes of this
Bridge Technical Direction, seawater shall include all waters which are tidal. Fresh water shall include inland
waters and those which are non-tidal.
Provisions for future cathodic protection shall consist of providing electrical continuity of all stressed and
non-stressed reinforcement, fitments and anchor plates. Anchors for metal items with a large exposed
surface area shall be electrically isolated from the remaining reinforcement. In any element where only part
of the element falls in one of the above categories, all reinforcement in that element shall be made
electrically continuous.
Electrical continuity must be demonstrated for each reinforced concrete element for which provisions for
possible future cathodic protection has been provided by testing in accordance AS 2832.5 Cathodic
protection of metals, Part 5: Steel in concrete structures. All design drawings that detail reinforcement of
elements that require provisions for future cathodic protection shall specify the requirements for electrical
continuity and testing.
Provisions for future cathodic protection shall also include cathodic protection couplers which shall be
located on accessible faces of elements above the ground or water surface. Details and locations of the
cathodic protection couplers shall be provided on the design drawings. Cathodic protection couplers shall
be made from galvanised steel or stainless steel capped with a UV resistant cap.
Effective date: 16/07/2008
Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer
DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Joe Canceri
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0805
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2008/13
1 of 1
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2008/12

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2008/12
PROVISIONS FOR CONCRETE STRUCTURES IN ACID SULFATE SOILS
Background
RTA has recognised the hazards posed by Acid Sulfate Soils and has issued related policies, procedures
and guidelines since the mid 1990’s. RTA further expanded and consolidated its policies to cover acid
sulfate materials and issued “Guidelines for the Management of Acid Sulfate Materials: Acid Sulfate Soils,
Acid Sulfate Rock and Monosulfidic Black Ooze” in April 2005. Chief Bridge Engineer circular CBE
1996/09 was issued in 1996 to specify provisions to be taken when designing concrete bridge elements
located in acid sulfate soils and prescribed the use of RTA policy document “Concrete Structures in Acid
Sulfate Soils”, RTA Technology, May 1996 for such situations.
Information
RTA Bridge Engineering has revised and updated the document prescribed in CBE 1996/09, which was
first revised as “Acid Sulfate Soils – Concrete Structures – Advice for Design and Construction”,
Edition 2, June 1997.
Bridge Technical Direction
When a site survey for an RTA bridge or related structure identifies that the soil at the site is a potential
acid sulfate soil or an actual acid sulfate soil, the structure shall be designed and specified in accordance
with RTA policy document “Acid Sulfate Soils – Concrete Structures – Advice for Design and
Construction”, RTA Bridge Engineering – Policy and Specifications, Edition 3, May 2008.
The Senior Bridge Engineer (Policy and Specifications) can be contacted on telephone (02) 8837 0850,
or by facsimile (02) 8837 005, if further clarification is required.
This Bridge Technical Direction supersedes CBE 1996/09.
Reference: CBE1996/09
Effective date: 14/05/2008
Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Policy and Specifications, RTA Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2008/12

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ACID SULFATE SOILS

CONCRETE STRUCTURES – ADVICE FOR
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION

REVIEW REPORT, EDITION 3 – May 2008
RTA Bridge Engineering - Policy and Specifications

RTA Bridge Engineering, Engineering Technology Branch
Regional Operations and Engineering Services Directorate
Concrete Structures in Acid Sulfate Soils

SUMMARY

Acid Sulfate Soils (ASS), which include both Actual Acid Sulfate Soils (Actual ASS) and
Potential Acid Sulfate Soils (Potential ASS), have been identified in many parts of Australia,
with consequent effects on the environment and structures. For many design and construction
engineers and project managers, the knowledge, implications and actions required to deal
with ASS are not well understood. This report aims to supply the information necessary for
correct decisions to be made regarding concrete structures in environments containing ASS.

This report:

• gives a brief environmental and geological overview and describes deterioration of
concrete structures from the effects of ASS (Clauses 1 and 2);

• reviews and recommends methods of exposure classification (Clause 3);

• details factors to be considered when designing and specifying concrete structures in
environments containing ASS (Clause 4);

• reviews and recommends coatings and other protection methods (Clauses 4.6 and 4.7);
and

• provides a procedure and flowchart for dealing with concrete structures in ASS
(Clause 5).

A bibliography of selected papers, standards, manuals, etc is provided for detailed explanation
of the contents of this report.

Disclaimer

The Roads and Traffic Authority of NSW and its employees or agents involved in the preparation and
publication of this Document do not accept any contractual, tortious or any other form of liability for the
contents of this Document or for any consequences arising from its use. Anyone using the information
contained in this Document shall apply and rely upon their own skill and judgement.

RTA Bridge Engineering, Engineering Technology Branch i
Regional Operations and Engineering Services Directorate May 2008
Concrete Structures in Acid Sulfate Soils

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 INTRODUCTION 1

2 ACID SULFATE SOILS (ASS) 1

2.1 GENERAL 1
2.2 LOCATIONS IN NSW 2
2.3 INDICATOR – “PH” 2
2.4 HAZARDS TO STRUCTURES 3
2.5 DETERIORATION OF CONCRETE STRUCTURES 4

3 EXPOSURE CLASSIFICATIONS 5

3.1 GENERAL 5
3.2 AS 5100.5 BRIDGE DESIGN 5
3.3 AS 3600 CONCRETE STRUCTURES 6
3.4 AS 3735 CONCRETE STRUCTURES FOR RETAINING LIQUIDS 6
3.5 AS 2159 PILING – DESIGN AND INSTALLATION 7
3.6 OTHER CLASSIFICATIONS 7
3.7 RTA DESIGN REQUIREMENTS 9

4 STRUCTURAL DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS 13

4.1 GENERAL 13
4.2 SOIL DISTURBANCE 13
4.3 DESIGN EFFECTS 13
4.4 SACRIFICIAL CONCRETE LAYER 13
4.5 QUALITY OF CONCRETE 14
4.6 PROTECTIVE COATINGS 15
4.7 OTHER PROTECTION METHODS 17

5 RECOMMENDED PROCEDURES 18

REFERENCES 20

APPENDIX A – AS 3735 22

APPENDIX B – AS 2159 23

APPENDIX C – BRE REPORT 24

LAST PAGE OF DOCUMENT 25

RTA Bridge Engineering, Engineering Technology Branch ii
Regional Operations and Engineering Services Directorate May 2008
Concrete Structures in Acid Sulfate Soils

1 INTRODUCTION

RTA issued Guidelines 25 in April 2005 to update and replace RTA’s Acid sulphate soil
policies and procedures (1995) and Acid sulphate soil guidelines (1996) to address
environmental issues and risks posed by acid sulfate soils (ASS), acid sulfate rock (ASR) and
monosulfidic black ooze (MBO), all described as acid sulfate materials (ASM). The
Guidelines address the management of ASM and should be used for project development,
construction, maintenance and decommissioning of roadworks in areas containing such soils.

The Guidelines focus on the impact of RTA works on environments where ASM exist, and
the identification, classification, risk assessment, treatment, monitoring and management of
such materials.

This report provides information and advice to structural designers and project managers
based on RTA bridge policy on this topic to ensure that concrete structures in naturally
occurring ASS (both actual and potential) environments have the required durability.
Although this report provides information and advice for structures in ASS, a similar
approach may be used to deal with other soils and environments causing similar effects.

This report does not apply to pavements or concrete pipes, or ground conditions such as
refuse waste, for which a specialist site specific study should be carried out.

2 ACID SULFATE SOILS (ASS)

2.1 General
Actual ASS contain highly acidic soil horizons or layers resulting from the oxidation of soil
materials that are rich in iron sulfides. Oxidation produces hydrogen ions in excess of the
sediments’ capacity to neutralise this acidity, resulting in soils with pH of 4 or less when
measured in the dry season.

Potential ASS contain iron sulfides or sulfidic material that has not been exposed to air and
oxidised. The measured pH of these soils in their undisturbed state is usually 4 or more (and
may be neutral or even slightly alkaline).

ASS includes both actual ASS and potential ASS. Both types may be found in a soil profile.

When water passes through actual ASS, sulphuric acid is leached out to react with the
minerals in the soil to change its properties. If the soil has insufficient buffering capacity to
neutralise the acid, the soil water, ground water and drainage water will all become acidic,
and will contain dissolved aluminium, iron and heavy metals.

Engineering works on ASS, such as excavation, dredging and draining accelerate the
exposure to air of pyritic soils i.e. those that contain natural sulfide, otherwise known as iron
pyrites, (FeS2). These operations can speed up the production of acidic ground water to many
times the natural rate.

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Passing into waterways and ground water, the sulphuric acid produced as a result of soil
disturbance affects plant growth, aquatic life, animal and human health, and degrades
engineering structures.

In addition to the risk of deterioration of engineering structures in actual ASS, unconsolidated
estuarine sediments containing potential ASS may cause uneven subsidence under relatively
low loads, causing structural problems.

2.2 Locations in NSW
ASS occur predominantly in low lying coastal areas with elevations generally up to 5 metres
above Australian Height Datum (AHD). Maps of ASS distribution in the coastal zone were
prepared in 1998 for NSW. There are approximately 4000 square kilometres of ASS in NSW
with incidences having been reported in every estuary along the coast.

Although ASS generally occur in and around estuarine floodplains in the coastal zone, they
have also been reported from several other locations in Australia. Inland ASS have also been
reported around Yass in NSW.

2.3 Indicator – “pH”
pH is one of the indicators used to identify potential ASS. Other acidic soils which do not
contain iron pyrites exist. The acidic or alkaline character of a liquid depends on its H+
(hydrogen) ion and OH- (hydroxyl) ion contents. Both types of ions are present in water. The
pH of any aqueous solution relates to its hydrogen ion concentration. pH is -log10 (hydrogen
ion concentration).

In neutral water the number of H+ ions is equal to the number of OH- ions. Any increase in
one type of ion is accompanied by a corresponding decrease in the other type. Neutral water
has a pH of 7. A pH less than 7 indicates acidity. A pH greater than 7 indicates alkalinity.
The smaller the pH the greater the acidity down to a value of zero. The larger the pH the
higher the alkalinity up to a value of 14.

A small change in the pH value is significant since the scale is logarithmic.

Table A can be used to classify water according to its pH.

Table A - Classification of water according to pH values

pH

0-1-2-3 4-5-6 7 8-9-10 11-12-13-14

Mildly Mildly
Classification Acidic Neutral Alkaline
acidic alkaline

pH content H+ ions predominant OH- ions predominant

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2.4 Hazards to Structures
NSW legislation is in place to protect the environment against deterioration due to the effects
of ASS. Under this legislation, acid sulfate soils are those which contain greater than 0.1%
sulfide and net acid generation potential greater than 0.0.

RTA’s Guidelines for the Management of Acid Sulfate Materials require the identification of
acid sulfate soils at an early stage of project planning. Procedures for identification of ASM,
environmental impact assessment, ASM management planning and selection of ASM controls
have been set out in those Guidelines.

Much of the information required for concrete durability design will be obtained when
obtaining data for preparation of the Environmental Management Plan for the project.

Identification of ASM is carried out in two stages - preliminary identification and detailed
identification. The former is undertaken during the investigation for assessing route options,
proposal development and approvals. The latter is undertaken for detail design development
and approval.

There are several methods and tests available to identify ASS. For the purposes of this report,
two simple methods of identification are:
(i) visual indicators of ASS;
(ii) on-site pH measurements.

Visual indicators of ASS at a site may include yellow efflorescence on the soil surface,
sulphurous smell, iron staining and iron flocculants in streams.

On-site pH of streams and fresh ground water samples and of 1:5 soil:water samples provide a
good indication of acid sulfate conditions at the site.

Where soils contain enough sulfides, the sulfate content of ground water in construction pits,
wells or boreholes may increase over a period of weeks to several times the original value.
After backfilling, the sulfate content soon drops to previous levels, since the supply of air has
been interrupted. This explains why water samples taken from construction pits are usually
higher in sulfates than those obtained from exploratory drilling. Protective measures based on
the higher sulfate content of samples taken from construction pits could be excessively
conservative.

Moving water is particularly harmful to concrete. In stagnant water, dissolved salts will tend
to combine with components of the hardened cement paste. Sodium sulfate in ground water
will react with calcium hydroxide in the cement to form gypsum. The concrete pores are then
partially sealed by the precipitated gypsum to form a natural protective layer on and near the
concrete surface. In moving water aggressive acid sulfates may be replenished. In stagnant
water the acid sulfates are consumed with time. In cohesive soils such as clay the seepage
rate of ground water is of the order 10-5 m/s whilst in granular soils seepage rates a hundred or
even a thousand times greater are possible. Therefore, in granular soils higher rates of
deterioration should be expected.

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2.5 Deterioration of Concrete Structures

2.5.1 General
Depending on the predominant chemical reaction, concrete deterioration processes can be
classified into three groups according to their effects on the hardened cement paste:
• leaching;
• exchange reactions and removal of readily soluble compounds; and
• swelling, due to the formation of new, stable compounds.

2.5.2 Acids

Acids in concentrations common to natural waters can dissolve carbonates at the surface of
the concrete and leach out lime. The concrete deteriorates because the calcium hydroxide in
the cement paste is attacked by the acids to form water soluble salts subsequently leached out.
Sulphuric acids may also cause swelling of the paste with subsequent cracking.

The rate of attack on the concrete is controlled by the nature of the acid, the pH value and the
solubility of the calcium salts formed.

2.5.3 Sulfates

Sulfate attack on concrete is caused by an expansive chemical reaction between tricalcium
aluminate (C3A) components in the cement and the sulfates in solution to produce gypsum
and calcium sulphoaluminate (ettringite). The crystals of ettringite occupy a larger volume
than the original cement components that leads to expansion, cracking, and disintegration of
the concrete.

The aggressiveness of soil containing sulfates is classified according to SO3 content, more
recently according to SO4 content. SO3 can be converted to SO4 as follows:

SO3 = 0.83 SO4

Ammonium, calcium, magnesium and sodium sulfates are most detrimental to Portland
cement. Potassium, copper and aluminium sulfates are less harmful. Barium sulfate and lead
sulfate, which are insoluble in water, do not affect concrete.

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3 EXPOSURE CLASSIFICATIONS

3.1 General
There are a number of codes, standards and other references which deal with environmental
exposure classifications. This clause reviews the classifications to give guidance and
recommendations when selecting exposure classifications for ASS conditions.

According to the exposure classification, concrete quality, chemical content restrictions,
cover and other requirements are determined.

In determining the exposure classification of structural members in ASS, designers/specifiers
in conjunction with Project Managers should assess possible environmental changes over the
design life of the structure.

Since change in pH with time depends on many factors, there is no direct valid laboratory
method capable of measuring potential pH. However, by carefully studying the various
factors and examining test results, potential changes to pH can be estimated within a
reasonable range. Such estimates should be requested from the geotechnical consultant.

For example, if pH of ground water is measured as 7 at the investigation stage, but other tests
have shown that the soil is potential ASS, the pH can drop significantly if the soil is disturbed
or drained. Therefore, construction methods, future development, and other factors which
result in draining or disturbing potential ASS should be considered when determining the
exposure classification.

The permeability of soil, as discussed earlier, is another factor to be taken into account when
determining the exposure classification. In this report, soils with permeability less than
_
10 5 m/s are referred to as low permeability soils (e.g. clay). Soils with permeability greater
_
than 10 5 m/s are referred to as high permeability soils (e.g. sand). Exposure to free water
such as streams and rivers is classified as high permeability for the purposes of this report.

Designers and specifiers must ensure that appropriate and complete information is collected
during site investigation, evaluated and then used when selecting an exposure classification.

3.2 AS 5100.5 Bridge design
AS 5100.5 applies to concrete bridges and related structural concrete members with a design
life of 100 years and permits the adoption of AS 3600 for structures with design lives of
40 to 60 years.

Concrete exposure classifications are given in order of increasing severity from A, B1, B2 to
C. Exposure classification U is used for other exposures subject to special consideration and
includes a range of exposures from more severe than C, down to as benign as A.

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For ASS, concrete exposure classification U must be used since the specific environment for
such soils is not included in classifications A through to C. The Standard requires designers
and specifiers to identify such exposures and specify appropriately for durability.

The Standard considers permeable soils with a pH < 4.0 or ground containing more than one
gram per litre (1000 mg/l or 1000 ppm) of sulfate ions to be aggressive.

The exposure classifications in AS 5100.5 have been, except for minor changes such as the
chemical content of cement, almost completely adopted from ‘92 AUSTROADS1.

3.3 AS 3600 Concrete structures
AS 3600 applies to concrete structures and members with a design life of 40 to 60 years.

The approach and classifications used in the Standard are similar to those of AS 5100.5 with
an additional subdivision of exposure classification A into A1 and A2.

The Commentary to AS 36009 lists references for guidance for specification for exposure
classification “U” similar to that of the Commentary to ’92 AUSTROADS2.

3.4 AS 3735 Concrete structures for retaining liquids
The Supplement to AS 373510 states that the durability requirements of the Standard are
appropriate for a design life of 40 to 60 years, and specifies four basic exposure
classifications in order of increasing aggressiveness from A to D.

The exposure classification of the Standard is in line with AS 5100.5 and AS 3600 but with
an additional classification D for which AS 3735 requires isolation from the environment for
all concrete surfaces.

The exposure classifications are determined for a range of environments which are:

1. Fresh water 4. Corrosive liquids, vapours or gases
2. Sewage and waste water 5. Other liquids
3. Sea water 6. Ground water

The applicable item for ASS is No. 6 Ground water, for which a broad range of classifications
is given. Reference can be made to the Supplement for assistance. Comprehensive guidance
is given in the Supplement with specific details given for exposure classification U.
Information for Item No. 6, together with material from the Supplement, has been rearranged
and detailed in Appendix A of this report.

The exposure classification for the surface of a member is determined from the Standard and
from AS 3600 for the most severe environment or use to which the concrete will be subjected
during its operational life. However in the case of ASS, AS 3735 requirements are more
detailed than AS 3600 and overrule and provide further direction to deal with aggressive
environments. The requirements of AS 3735 and those of AS 3600 have been used in this
report to determine the exposure classification of the surface of a concrete member.

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For ASS, the exposure classification needs to be determined for both sulfate aggressiveness
and acidity and the higher classification of the two is used. The use of sulfate resisting
concrete and/or the use of calcareous (containing calcium carbonate or calcite) coarse
aggregates are also specified depending on the severity.

The Standard recognises the use of the following as methods for obtaining durable concrete:
• sulfate resisting (SR) cements (superseded cement classification Type D);
• pozzolanic material (e.g. fly ash) blended with Portland cement i.e. blended cements;
• waterproofing agents with Portland cement.

Sulfate resisting cement and RTA preferred methods for obtaining sulfate resistance are
discussed in later clauses of this report.

3.5 AS 2159 Piling – Design and installation
AS 2159 specifies that its durability requirements are for a design life of 40 to 60 years.

The Standard uses different exposure classifications to AS 5100.5 and the other Australian
Standards reviewed above. The classification is self explanatory and comprises Non-
aggressive, Mild, Moderate, Severe and Very Severe.

The relevant classifications for ASS have been rearranged and summarised in Appendix B of
this report. The Standard uses sulfate expressed as SO3. To maintain consistency of this
report and to enable comparisons, SO3 has been converted for Appendix B to SO4 using the
equation SO3 = 0.83 SO4.

The sulfate limits of AS 2159 approximate those of AS 3735. However direct correlation for
the two different classifications of the two standards is not appropriate since the specified
minimum concrete strengths and cover differ. AS 2159 refers to AS 3735 for the design of
concrete which is exposed to severe and very severe sulfate environments. AS 2159 also uses
separate tables for acid and sulfate exposure. This limits the Standard’s usefulness for ASS.

3.6 Other Classifications
In a Special Digest published by the U.K. Building Research Establishment 15, concrete in
aggressive ground is extensively addressed including ASS and “brownfield” (sites which may
contain chemical residues remaining from previous industrial use or from imported wastes).
The exposure classifications are given in a different form to the Australian standards above.

The Digest considers another form of sulfate attack known as thaumasite sulfate attack (TSA)
that reduces concrete to a white mushy reaction product rich in thaumasite. Several factors
such as source of sulfate, mobile ground water, source of calcium silicate hydrate (CSH) in
the cement paste, presence of carbonate (generally in limestone and similar aggregates) and
low temperatures (most active below 15ºC) must generally coincide for TSA to occur in
susceptible concrete.

The significance of the BRE classification is the progressive selection of exposure
classification and the relationship between various exposures. But its approach is somewhat

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complicated as it has three different stages to assess the severity of conditions to derive the
concrete specification.

The design sulfate class (DS Class) is determined firstly from soluble sulfate and magnesium
contents, and from potential sulfate. It is used with pH and mobility of ground water to define
the aggressive chemical environment for concrete class (ACEC Class) applicable to the
location. Using the DS Class and ACEC Class, and the hydraulic gradient due to ground
water, type and thickness of concrete element and the design life, the design chemical class
(DC Class) is derived. The DC Class is used to specify the concrete in terms of maximum
free-water/cement ratio, minimum cement content and type of cement. Additional protective
measures are sometimes recommended for highly aggressive conditions.

All three classes have five basic levels from 1 to 5. Additional variations are sometimes
introduced to allow for other factors such as magnesium content.

For ASS, DS Classes are defined based on different limits for sulfate content determined on
soil samples from:
a) Water soluble sulfate in 2:1 water:soil extract;
b) Total sulfate content determined by the acid soluble sulfate method;
c) Total potential sulfate calculated from total sulfur present as 3 times total sulfur; and
d) pH of 2.5:1 water:soil extract.

The BRE Special Digest also stipulates tests, if possible, on ground water samples to
determine:
a) water soluble sulfate; and
b) pH.

The BRE Special Digest provides a method to identify the presence of pyrites based on these
tests. The amount of oxidisable sulfides is calculated as the difference of total potential
sulfate content and acid soluble sulfate. When this amount is greater than 0.3% SO4 in a
significant number of samples, it indicates the probable presence of pyrites which can be
confirmed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis.

The DS Class of the location is independently assessed based on the water soluble sulfate in
the 2:1 water:soil extracts and ground water samples and the total potential sulfate determined
from soil samples for suspected pyritic soils. The highest class from these methods is the DS
Class of that site.

Ground water conditions - static, mobile and flowing - are considered in the BRE Special
Digest. Threshold values of pH 3.5 in static water and pH 5.5 in mobile water exist for most
DS Classes and are used to separate two adjacent ACEC Classes for natural soil with the
same DS Class. Flowing water is only considered when the water is pure or potentially
aggressive due to significant levels of carbon dioxide.

Since the scope of the BRE report includes structures in addition to bridge and road
infrastructure, only the classifications and modifications applicable to bridge and road
structures have been included in Appendix C of this report. One of the rearranged
classification tables, Table C/1 shows the five main ACEC Classes directly linked to exposure

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classifications. Table C/2 shows the adjustments made to those values to arrive at the
exposure classification in terms of DC Class for both low and high permeable soils.

The BRE Special Digest notes that the use of acid soluble sulfate content alone in more recent
standards will not detect sulfides which might be oxidised to sulfates as a result of ground
disturbance. However, concrete in pyritic ground does not have to be designed to withstand
high sulfates if the oxidization is expected to be limited or prevented due to use of appropriate
construction methods such as piles instead of footings which require excavation and
backfilling that disturb the ground.

The BRE report limits the application of its recommended precautions to concrete placed in
ground where pH > 2.5 since pH readings below 2.5 are reported only in very exceptional
circumstances in the U.K.

3.7 RTA Design Requirements
As the Australian Standards referred to in previous clauses of this report specify
measurements of SO4 contents of soil or ground water, this report is based on ground water
measurements. When disturbance of ASS may occur, the total potential sulfate content of the
soil must be estimated and its implications for concrete structures taken into account.

Tables 1a and 1b below relate exposures applicable to bridge foundations in ASS to the
exposure classifications in AS 5100.5. Exposure classifications are B1, B2, C, and U.
Exposure classification A is not used, as B1 is the minimum exposure classification for
members in soil or water specified in AS 5100.5.

Except for exposure classification U, in Table 1a and Table 1b concrete quality, cover and
other durability requirements correspond to those of the exposure classifications in
AS 5100.5.

Design requirements B1, B2, and C indicate equivalent concrete requirements to those
specified for that exposure classification in AS 5100.5.

For exposure classification U, RTA design requirements are given in Table 2a and Table 2b
below. These two tables relate the exposures applicable to bridge foundations in ASS to the
exposure classifications in AS 5100.5 with additional protection measures and conditions.

RTA requirements that are not equivalent to the exposure classification in AS 5100 are a
variant of exposure classification U to indicate it is outside the scope of AS 5100.5. In this
report only design requirement U1 is used, defined as equivalent concrete design
requirements to those of exposure classification C in AS 5100.5 with additional full isolation
of the concrete from the environment.

For retaining walls and culverts, the relevant design requirements for high permeability soils
should be used because RTA construction specifications for these structures specify that free
draining granular soils for the backfill.

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Table 1a - AS 5100.5 Exposure Classifications for LOW Permeability Soil*

AS 5100.5 Exposure Classifications
SO4
(mg/l or ppm) pH

> 3.5 > 4.5
≤ 3.5 > 5.5
≤ 4.5 ≤ 5.5
< 400 U U B1 B1

400 – 1500 U U B1 B1

1500 – 3000 U U B1 B1

3000 – 6000 U U U U

> 6000 U U U U

mg/l: milligrams per litre; ppm: parts per million

* See also Table 2a for actions in regard to equivalent exposure classification U

Table 1b - AS 5100.5 Exposure Classifications for HIGH Permeability Soil*

AS 5100.5 Exposure Classifications
SO4
(mg/l or ppm) pH
≤ 3.5 > 3.5 > 4.5 > 5.5
≤ 4.5 ≤ 5.5
< 400 U U B2 B1

400 – 1500 U U C B2

1500 – 3000 U U U U

3000 – 6000 U U U U

> 6000 U U U U

mg/l: milligrams per litre; ppm: parts per million

* See also Table 2b for actions in regard to equivalent exposure classification U

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Table 2a - RTA Design Requirements for Exposure Classification Type U of
Table 1a for LOW Permeability Soil

RTA Design Requirements (See Table 2a Notes below)
SO4
pH
(mg/l or ppm)
> 2.5 > 3.5 > 4.5
> 5.5
≤ 3.5 ≤ 4.5 ≤ 5.5
< 400 B2 B1

400 – 1500 B2 B1 See Table 1a

1500 – 3000 B2 B1

3000 – 6000 C B2 B2 B2

> 6000 U1 C B2 B2

mg/l: milligrams per litre; ppm: parts per million

Table 2a Notes:

1. Table 2b is to be used for soil retaining structures and culverts.

2. Design requirements B1, B2, C indicate equivalent concrete requirements to that
specified for the relevant exposure classification in AS 5100.5 and RTA B80.

3. Design requirement U1 indicates equivalent concrete requirements to that specified for
exposure classification C in AS 5100.5 and RTA B80 with the addition of full
isolation of the concrete surface from the environment.

4. Environments under the dark horizontal line require sulfate-resisting blended cement
(Refer to Clauses 4.5.1 and 4.5.2 of this report).

5. Environments to the left of the dark vertical line require blended cement concretes
containing calcareous aggregate with an increased concrete cover unless design
requirement U1 is achieved (Refer to Clauses 4.2 and 4.3 of this report).

6. If pH is lower than 2.5, specialist advice should be sought.

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Table 2b - RTA Design Requirements for Exposure Classification Type U of
Table 1b for HIGH Permeability Soil

RTA Design Requirements (See Table 2b Notes below)
SO4
(mg/l or ppm) pH

> 2.5 > 3.5 > 4.5
> 5.5
≤ 3.5 ≤ 4.5 ≤ 5.5
< 400 U1 C
See Table 1b
400 – 1500 U1 C

1500 – 3000 U1 C C B2

3000 – 6000 U1 U1 C C

> 6000 U1 U1 U1 U1

mg/l: milligrams per litre; ppm: parts per million

Table 2b Notes:

1. Design requirements B1, B2, C indicate equivalent concrete requirements to that specified
for the relevant exposure classification in AS 5100.5 and RTA B80.

2. Design requirement U1 indicates equivalent concrete requirements to that specified for
exposure classification C in AS 5100.5 and RTA B80 with the addition of full isolation of
the concrete surface from the environment.

3. Environments under the dark horizontal line require sulfate-resisting blended cement
(Refer to Clauses 4.5.1 and 4.5.2 of this report).

4. Environments to the left of the dark vertical line require blended cement concretes
containing calcareous aggregate with an increased concrete cover unless design
requirement U1 is achieved (Refer to Clauses 4.2 and 4.3 of this report).

5. For soil retaining structures and culverts, the following modifications to the table apply:
• Calcareous aggregate shall not be used;
• B2 becomes B2 plus full isolation;
• C becomes U1;
• U1: no change.

6. If pH is lower than 2.5, specialist advice should be sought.

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Concrete Structures in Acid Sulfate Soils

4 STRUCTURAL DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

4.1 General
In addition to the normal design process, design and construction of any structures in ASS
requires careful consideration of the options available to mitigate the effects of sulfate and
acid attack and incorporating these options from the beginning of the concept design stage.
Some protective methods such as minimizing soil disturbance, quality of concrete, sacrificial
layers, protective coating, addressing site drainage and the like are briefly explained. Any of
these measures alone or in combination should be used to achieve durable concrete structures.

4.2 Soil Disturbance
Soil disturbance in ASS should be avoided wherever possible or minimised to limit the extent
of oxidization of ASS during construction e.g. driven piles should be selected over cast in-situ
bored piles; the possibility of extending piles above ground level to the headstocks or having
above ground pile caps to avoid excavation should be considered.

4.3 Design Effects
The structural behaviour of any protective measures should be considered during design.

If the shaft of a concrete pile is covered by a special casing, liner or coating, account for the
reduction in the shaft resistance for that length of pile which is protected. The axial load
carrying capacity of friction piles is likely to be greatly reduced compared to mainly
end-bearing piles. Where cast-in-situ piles have to be installed full depth in highly aggressive
ground, use fully sleeved pile shafts on expanded bases of inert aggregate, but the end bearing
capacity may be less than when the pile bases are formed with concrete.

The use of a sacrificial outer layer for friction piles is not appropriate since the surface of the
concrete must remain sound to prevent loss of skin friction or settlement.

4.4 Sacrificial Concrete Layer
Under stagnant soil water conditions, the use of reactive aggregate can mitigate the degree of
chemical attack on the concrete e.g. good quality limestone aggregate can neutralise some of
the acid that would otherwise attack the cement paste.

There are some advantages in having a coarse aggregate which is not completely immune to
attack, because the acid concentration can be reduced more rapidly if the acid reacts with the
aggregate in addition to the cement.

Since limestone-aggregate concrete is capable of maintaining a reasonably smooth surface
during erosion, it can be practicable to design for relatively thick sacrificial layers. Based on
Hughes et al, the rate of erosion for 0.0016% acid concentration (pH of approximately 3.5)

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Concrete Structures in Acid Sulfate Soils

was about 0.75 mm per year, so for a life of 20 years and a safety factor of 2, the required
sacrificial layer would be 30 mm.

When total cover, comprising the design cover plus the sacrificial layer thickness, exceeds 80
mm, supplementary mesh reinforcement in the cover zone is required.

The use of limestone aggregate without an increase in concrete cover is disastrous. Therefore
it is crucial that when limestone aggregate is specified for ASS an increase in concrete cover
as a sacrificial layer is made. The contribution of the increased concrete thickness should be
discounted when calculating the design strength of the member.

4.5 Quality of Concrete

4.5.1 Sulfate Attack

It is essential that the concrete is dense and well compacted to enable it to resist sulfate attack.
Low concrete permeability and choice of cement type is more important than high
characteristic strength.

Concrete should be fully cured and mature before exposure to sulphates as it has been found
that more mature concretes are far more resistant to sulphate attack than immature concretes.

In neutral to alkaline environments, some resistance to sulfate attack is obtained when the
tricalcium aluminate - C3A - content of the cement is low. Traditional sulfate resisting
Portland cements with low C3A have been and are still used in such environments.

In acidic environments, the effectiveness of Portland cement of low C3A alone in resisting
sulfate attack is questionable. Work done by the CSIRO and others has demonstrated that the
addition of supplementary cementitious materials to Portland cement improves sulfate
resistance in neutral to acidic environments. Several papers report that blended cements give
protection against sulfate attack superior to sulfate resisting Portland cement, due to the lower
C3A content from the Portland cement replacement, refined pore structure, and reduction of
calcium hydroxide available to form gypsum that contributes to the attack.

Blended cements are effective only when proportioned correctly.

Fly ash blends have good sulfate-resisting properties only when the fly ash content is more
than 25% of the cement. Fly ash proportions exceeding 40% are not generally recommended
because of placement difficulties and a lack of data on performance.

Slag blended cements with more than 65% slag are considered sulfate resisting. The higher
the slag content up to a maximum of 75% of the total cement, the higher the resistance to
sulfate attack, but such high slag contents should be used only for concrete surfaces either
permanently wet or permanently isolated from the air, to guard against the risk of carbonation
when exposed to atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Silica fume blends of 5-15 % of the cement also have good sulfate-resisting characteristics.

Care should be taken when specifying sulfate resisting cement in acidic environments.
AS 3972 Type SR cement should not be specified for use in ASS without specification of

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Concrete Structures in Acid Sulfate Soils

blend proportions, contents and quality to achieve required resistance. RTA 3211 does not
include Type SR cement as a cement acceptable for use in RTA structures.

Thaumasite sulfate attack should be considered and precautionary measures taken if any of
the conditions described in Clause 3.6 occur.

4.5.2 Acid Attack

Concrete erosion by acidic water depends more on concrete quality than the type of cement.
The lower porosity and permeability of blended cements is generally beneficial. Blended
cements incorporating fly ash and/or slag in the proportions discussed above should be used.

The use of limestone aggregate in a sacrificial concrete layer is discussed in Clause 4.4.

For piles installed in an impermeable clay soil, acid or sulfate attack may only penetrate the
concrete to such a small extent that only a small thickness of dense sacrificial concrete may
remove the need for special cements. In other circumstances where the soil is of higher
permeability, additional measures may also be necessary.

4.6 Protective Coatings

4.6.1 General
Protective coatings are a specialised field outside the scope of this report; this clause is
provided for reference only.

Use of coatings for steel members is well established with a wide range of references and
standards available. Concrete coatings are covered in many references but not to the extent of
those for steel.

Concrete coatings should be considered as only one line of defence against an aggressive
environment for use with other measures. As a general rule, use of coatings does not permit
relaxation of concrete quality and composition discussed in earlier clauses of this report.

The selection of a coating for concrete is a complex process and is affected by several factors.
These factors include:
• The type of surface to be coated and its condition;
• Surface orientation (e.g. horizontal, vertical);
• Construction methods;
• The environment and level of aggressiveness;
• Duration and changes of exposure;
• Temperature at time of curing of coating;
• System life required;
• Maintenance frequency and methods, if feasible.

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Concrete Structures in Acid Sulfate Soils

Attempting to recommend a general coating system for a specified environment is not
appropriate since the environment is not the only factor. Expert advice should be sought on a
case by case basis.

4.6.2 Surface Preparation – An Essential Element

Surface preparation and conditions under which the coating is applied are extremely critical.
Such operations should be supervised to ensure that the coating will perform its function.

Minimum requirements for surface quality and cleanliness are usually specified by the
coating supplier in its instructions for surface preparation, to ensure that the coating bonds to
the concrete surface. Mechanical cleaning such as grit blasting is usually required.

In ACI 515.1R-79 (85)3, a few quick and simple methods are specified to measure the
cleanliness of a surface, three of which are:

Dust: Wipe the surface with a dark cloth. If a white powder is evident on the cloth, the
surface is too dusty and unsatisfactory for some coating systems.

Oils: Sprinkle water on the dried concrete surface. If the water spreads out immediately
instead of standing as droplets, the surface is not contaminated by oils or dust.

Laitance: Laitance may be detected by scraping the surface with a putty knife. If loose
powdery material is observed, laitance is excessive and could adversely affect adhesion.

The repair of defects in concrete to be covered with a coating requires special attention.
Patches should be cured and full bond achieved prior to applying the coating. If poor
adhesion and/or unsound patching is suspected, then remove the patch and replace it with a
new sound patch prior to applying the coating.

The dryness of the concrete surface is also critical, with a maximum moisture content of
5 to 8 % usually recommended by suppliers. Moisture content is excessive if moisture
collects at the interface between the concrete and the coating before the coating has cured.
This is assessed by taping a 1 m x 1 m clear polyethylene sheet to the concrete surface and
determining the time required for moisture to collect on its underside. This can be compared
with the required coating curing time specified by the supplier. A primer facilitates the
process as its curing time is normally shorter than that of the coating.

4.6.3 Types of Coating Systems

There are a number and variety of coating systems which are differentiated by the basis of the
coating and the curing process, with the following generic systems recommended for
concrete:
1. Chlorinated Rubber;
2. Epoxy;
3. Vinyl Ester;
4. Bituminous.

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Concrete Structures in Acid Sulfate Soils

Epoxy coatings generally have satisfactory acid resistance where pH > 3.0. They are not
suitable where pH < 3.0.

Coal tar epoxies should not be used for coatings; their use is not approved by the Australian
Paint Approval Committee for health hazard reasons.

Bitumen provides an economical alternative to proprietary paints for coating buried concrete
elements, with good resistance to acid attack and water penetration. It adheres well to
properly prepared concrete surfaces. Application procedure should be Steps 1 and 2 below
followed by priming with cutback bitumen or thinned bitumen emulsion followed by
application of two sprayed coats of cutback bitumen or bitumen emulsion with at least one
day between coats. Take care when placing granular fill against bitumen coated concrete, as
bitumen when cured is usually not as hard or abrasion resistant as paint. Bitumen coating of
culverts should ideally be carried out in place to avoid damaging the coating during
transport/installation.

Vinyl ester coatings are the most appropriate coating for the protection of concrete in acid soil
conditions where pH < 3.0.

A complete concrete protection system using any of the above coating systems includes
surface preparation, priming and one or more coats of the coating e.g. the recommended
procedure for applying a vinyl ester system for a highly acidic environment is as follows:
1. Lightly brush blast concrete surface to remove laitance;
2. Fill voids in the concrete surface. Where many small voids exist, apply a cement render.
Use a cementitious paste to fill voids greater than 2 mm in depth and/or diameter;
3. Apply a moisture cured urethane primer to seal the concrete surface;
4. Apply 1 coat of high build vinyl ester with 2 mm minimum dry film thickness.

Coatings should only be applied by trained and experienced applicators.

4.6.4 Coating System Life
The life of a coating system varies with the system used. Designers, specifiers and Project
Managers should be aware of such variations and the relatively short life of coating systems
compared with the design life of the structure. It is necessary to consider the coating system
life along with the other measures used in these aggressive environments e.g. sacrificial
limestone concrete cover, etc.

The life of a coating could vary from 10 to 20 years or more depending on the severity of the
exposure conditions and the quality of surface preparation and coating application.

4.7 Other Protection Methods
Protection other than coatings may be required in some circumstances including prolonged
exposure to very aggressive environments capable of penetrating any concrete and coating
combination.

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Concrete Structures in Acid Sulfate Soils

In such circumstances, a higher level of isolation from the environment is required; some
methods used are:

• 10 mm thick permanent mild steel casings with 1.5 mm thick inner liner of heavy duty
PVC for piles for extremely high sulfate concentrations e.g. 13,800 to 28,800 ppm;

• In an environment of 3000 ppm sulfates and high chloride concentrations in the Middle
East, PVC sleeves coated with nylon fabric were recommended for pile protection;

• Packing a layer of limestone around the exposed face of the concrete element for
protection of piles in acidic ground water;

• A sacrificial layer of concrete on piles together with other measures, but this is rarely
solely relied on for highly aggressive conditions;

• Local replacement of permeable soil around piles with a layer of impermeable soil.

5 RECOMMENDED PROCEDURES

The following flowchart summarises procedures to be followed by designers, specifiers
and/or Project Managers in the design, specification and construction of structures in ASS.

The procedures are grouped in three main stages:
1. Investigation;
2. Design and review; and
3. Construction.

At each stage a number of steps is recommended.

It is essential that designers, specifiers and project managers communicate at all stages of the
project development to deliver adequate, buildable and economical structures.

Monitoring and evaluation of design, specification and construction of structures in ASS in a
project will not only satisfy that project’s requirements but will also benefit other projects in
the vicinity.

The relevant clauses of this report are referred to in most of the steps in the flowchart.

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Concrete Structures in Acid Sulfate Soils

DEALING WITH ASS IN DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF CONCRETE STRUCTURES

Reference
Actions
Clause(s)
Investigation
Review nature of ASS
(actual ASS and potential ASS) 1, 2

Gather data from completed
projects with ASS

Obtain existing soil
2
permeability, pH, SO4 and Mg

Obtain expert advice on potential pH and
2.4
SO4 over lifetime of structure
Design and review

Determine exposure classification and
durability design requirements 3.7

Input into the overall design of structure 4

Input into detailed structural concrete
design and technical specification, 4.1 - 4.4
as required

Specify concrete mix requirements 4.5

Obtain expert advice on type of coatings
4.6
and specify as appropriate

Specify other protection methods, as
4.7
required
Construction
Monitor compliance with design and
5
specification

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Concrete Structures in Acid Sulfate Soils

REFERENCES

1. ‘92 AUSTROADS “Bridge Design Code”, Section 5 - Code, AUSTROADS 1992.

2. ‘92 AUSTROADS “Bridge Design Code”, Section 5 - Commentary, AUSTROADS
1992.

3. ACI 515.1R-79 (85), “Guide to the Use of Waterproofing, Dampproofing, Protective, and
Decorative Barrier Systems for Concrete”

4. Al-Amoudi O.S., Maslehuddin M. and Saadi M.M., “Effect of Magnesium Sulfate and
Sodium Sulfate on the Durability Performance of Plain and Blended Cements”. ACI
Materials Journal, V.92, No.1, Jan-Feb 1995.

5. AS 2159 “ Piling - Design and installation”, Standards Australia, 1995.

6. AS 2159 Supp1 “Piling - Design and installation - Guidelines”, Standards Australia,
1996.

7. AS 3600 “Concrete structures”, Standards Australia, 2001.

8. AS 3600 Supp1 “Concrete structures - Commentary”, Standards Australia, 1994 and
amended in October 2004.

9. AS 3735 “Concrete structures for retaining liquids”, Standards Australia, 2001.

10. AS 3735 Supp1 “ Concrete structures for retaining liquids - Commentary”, Standards
Australia, 2001

11. AS 5100.5 “Bridge design, Part 5: Concrete”, Standards Australia, 2004.

12. Bartholomew R.F., “The protection of concrete piles in aggressive ground conditions: an
international appreciation”, Symposium paper: Recent Developments in the Design and
Construction of Piles. Institution of Civil Engineers, 1979.

13. Beal D.L. and Brantz H.L., “Assessment of the durability characteristics of triple blended
cementitious materials”, Paper presented at Fly Ash, Silica Fume, Slag and Natural
Pozzolans in Concrete, Fourth International Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, May 1992.

14. Biczok I., “Concrete Corrosion - Corrosion Protection”, Publishing House of the
Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, 1972.

15. Building Research Establishment (BRE) Special Digest 1, “Concrete in Aggressive
Ground”, 2005.

16. Environmental Impact Statement for State Highway 10-Pacific Highway, Chinderah
Bypass. Report by GHD for RTA, 1991.

17. Fattuhi N.I. and Hughes B.P., “Effect of acid attack on concrete with different admixtures
or protective coatings”, Cement and Concrete Research, vol 13, 1983 pp 655-665.

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Concrete Structures in Acid Sulfate Soils

18. Fidjestol P. and Frearson J., “High-Performance Concrete Using Blended and Triple
Blended Binders”. High Performance Concrete Proceedings, ACI International
Conference, Singapore, 1994. ACI, SP 149-8.

19. Guirguis S., “Durable Concrete Structures”, CIA Technical Note TN57, March 1986.

20. Harrison W. H., "Durability of Concrete in Acidic Soils and Waters", Concrete, February
1987.

21. Hughes B. P. and Guest J. E., “Limestone and Siliceous Aggregate Concretes Subjected
to Sulphuric Acid Attack”, Magazine of Concrete Research, Vol 30, No 102, March 1978
pp 11-18.

22. Mangat P.S. and Khatib J. M., “Influence of Fly Ash, Silica Fume, and Slag on Sulfate
Resistance of Concrete”, ACI Materials Journal, Vol. 92 No. 5, Sept-Oct. 1995.

23. Redner J. A., Randolph P. H. and Esfandi E., “ Evaluation of Protective Coatings for
Concrete”, Paper from the Proceedings of SSPC 91 Protective Coatings for Flooring and
Other Concrete Surfaces, 1991.

24. RTA 3211 “Cement, Binders and Fillers”.

25. RTA “Guidelines for the Management of Acid Sulfate Materials: Acid Sulfate Soils,
Acid Sulfate Rock and Monosulfidic Black Ooze”, Version 1, April 2005.

26. White I. and Melville M. D., “Treatment and Containment of Potential Acid Sulfate
Soils”, CSIRO Technical Report No. 53, 1993.

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APPENDIX A – AS 3735

Table A/1 - Exposure Classification – Sulfate Containing Soils (AS 3735)

Ground water replenishment rate
SO4 Content
(i.e. soil permeability)
In soil In water
Low (e.g. clay) High (e.g. sand)
(%) (mg/l or ppm)

< 0.2 400 A2 B1

B2
0.2 – 0.6 400 – 1500 B1
(or B1 with SR cement)
B2,
0.6 – 1.2 1500 – 3000 B1
with SR cement
B2 C,
1.2 – 2.4 3000 – 6000
(or B1 with SR cement) with SR cement
B2,
> 2.4 > 6000 D
with SR cement
Notes: 1. SR cement: Sulfate-Resisting cement
2. mg/l: milligrams per litre; ppm: parts per million

Table A/2 - Exposure Classification –Acidic Soils (AS 3735)

Acidity Ground water replenishment rate
measure (i.e. soil permeability)

PH Low (e.g. clay) High (e.g. sand)

> 6.5 A1 B1

5.5 – 6.5 A2 B2

B2, with calcareous aggregate and at
4.5 – 5.5 A2
least 125% of nominal cover
C, with calcareous aggregate and at
3.5 – 4.5 B1
least 125% of nominal cover
B1, with calcareous aggregate and at
< 3.5 D
least 125% of nominal cover
Notes : 1. Calcareous aggregate is a limestone aggregate that should fulfil the requirements set forth in the Supplement.
2. Nominal cover increment should be increased by amount equal to loss that would occur over the design life.
3. mg/l: milligrams per litre; ppm: parts per million

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Concrete Structures in Acid Sulfate Soils

APPENDIX B – AS 2159

Table B/1 - Exposure Classification - Concrete Piles in Sulfate-Containing Soils
(AS 2159)

SO4 Exposure Classification
In soil In water Low permeability soil High permeability soil
(%) (mg/l or ppm) (e.g. clay) (e.g. sand)
< 0.25 375 Non-aggressive Non-aggressive

0.25 – 0.62 375 – 1250 Non-aggressive Mild

0.62 – 1.25 1250 – 3125 Mild Moderate

1.25 – 2.5 3125 – 6250 Moderate Severe

> 2.5 > 6250 Severe Very Severe
Notes: 1. mg/l: milligrams per litre; ppm: parts per million

Table B/2 - Exposure Classification - Concrete Piles in Acidic Soils (AS 2159)

Exposure Classification
Acidity
(pH) Low permeability soil High permeability soil
(e.g. clay) (e.g. sand)
> 6.5 Non aggressive Non-aggressive

5–6 Non-aggressive Mild

4.5 – 5 Mild Moderate

4 – 4.5 Moderate Severe

<4 Severe Very severe

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Concrete Structures in Acid Sulfate Soils

APPENDIX C – BRE REPORT

Table C/1 - Aggressive Chemical Environment for Concrete (ACEC) Class
(Other Classifications from BRE Report 15)

Low permeability soil High permeability soil
SO4 content (e.g. clay) (e.g. sand)
in ground
pH pH
water (mg/l
or ppm) >2.5 >3.5 >4.5 >2.5 >3.5 >4.5
>5.5 >5.5
≤3.5 ≤4.5 ≤5.5 ≤3.5 ≤4.5 ≤5.5

< 400 1s 1s 1s 1s 2z 2z 2z 1

400 – 1400 2s 1s 1s 1s 3z 3z 3z 2

1500 – 3000 3s 2s 2s 2s 4 4 4 3

3100 – 6000 4s 3s 3s 3s 5 5 5 4

> 6000m 5 4s 4s 4s 5 5 5 5
Notes:
1. mg/l: milligrams per litre; ppm: parts per million.
2. s is included when the ground water is static.
3. z is included when concretes have to resist acid conditions.
4. m is included when water soluble Mg is more than 1000 mg per litre and the concrete must resist high
levels of magnesium sulfate but this is not expected to be applicable for natural ground conditions in the
U.K. due to less magnesium content.

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Concrete Structures in Acid Sulfate Soils

Table C/2 - Exposure Classification – Design Chemical (DC) Class
(Other Classifications from BRE Report 15 General Cast-in-situ Use)

Low permeability soil High permeability soil
SO4 content (e.g. clay) (e.g. sand)
in ground
water (mg/l or pH pH
ppm) >2.5 >3.5 >4.5 >2.5 >3.5 >4.5
>5.5 >5.5
≤3.5 ≤4.5 ≤5.5 ≤3.5 ≤4.5 ≤5.5

< 400 1 1 1 1 2z 2z 2z 1

400 – 1400 2 1 1 1 3z 3z 3z 2

1500 – 3000 3 2 2 2 4/1 4/1 4/1 3/1

3100 – 6000 4 3 3 3 4/sp 4/sp 4/sp 4/1

> 6000 4/sp 4 4 4 4/sp 4/sp 4/sp 4/sp
Notes :
1. mg/l: milligrams per litre; ppm: parts per million.
2. z is included when the concretes have to resist acid conditions.
3. The number following / indicates number of additional protective measures (APM) required.
4. sp following / indicates surface protection have to be used as additional protective measure (APM). An extra
APM is generally not needed if surface protection is selected for use.
5. Where the hydraulic gradient across a concrete element is greater than 5, one step in DC Class or one APM over
and above the number indicated in this table should be applied.
6. A section thickness of 140 mm or less should be avoided in in-situ construction but, where this is not practical,
apply one step higher DC Class or an extra APM.
7. Where a section thickness greater than 450 mm is used and some surface chemical attack is acceptable, a
relaxation of one step in DC Class may be applied.
8. For reinforced concrete, the cover should be sufficiently thick to allow for estimated surface degradation during
the intended working life.
9. When the water soluble Mg is more than 1000 mg per litre and the concrete must resist high levels of magnesium
sulfate, only a particular type of blastfurnace cement is allowed for use. This ACEC Class applies to browfield
conditions only due to lesser magnesium contents in natural grounds in the U.K.

LAST PAGE

RTA Bridge Engineering, Engineering Technology Branch Page 25 of 25
Regional Operations and Engineering Services Directorate May 2008
Corporate Circular
CC: BPC2008/11

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2008/11
LISTS OF RTA APPROVED BRIDGE COMPONENTS AND SYSTEMS

Background

The Major Infrastructure and Network Management Directorates of RTA have provided funding to
RTA Bridge Engineering over a number of years to evaluate and provide advice on proprietary bridge
components, namely bridge expansion joints, bearings and deck waterproofing membranes, specified for
use on RTA bridges.

Infrastructure Contracts Branch of RTA has also provided funding for the assessment and approval of
proprietary post-tensioning and grouting systems, and of ground anchor systems, for which details of
approved systems can currently be found in the annexures of RTA QA specifications RTA B113 Post-
tensioning of Concrete and RTA B114 Ground Anchors (Lump Sum).

The assessment of the performance and durability of some proprietary skid-resistant coatings for
steelwork has also recently been carried out.

Information

The aim of this work has been to produce lists of RTA approved bridge components, prestressing and
other systems based on defined assessment procedures, to achieve significant cost savings for RTA over
the bridge lifecycle and to ensure the safety of personnel involved in installing, using and maintaining such
components and systems. This results from predictable and reliable performance of approved
components and systems, and from the use of uniform practices for design and installation.

The lists of RTA approved proprietary products eliminates the need to specify components by name on
new bridge design drawings, which increases competition between suppliers and reduces RTA’s costs.

Lists of RTA approved bridge bearings, deck joints, waterproofing membranes, skid-resistant coatings for
steelwork, and post-tensioning, grouting, ground anchor and other bridge related systems have been
compiled in a document readily accessible from RTA’s Intranet and RTA’s Internet pages. This
document will be updated as and when new products are approved or RTA approval of a product is
withdrawn.

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2008/11

1 of 2
Bridge Technical Direction

Only the approved bridge components and systems listed on RTA document: Lists of RTA Approved
Bridge Components and Systems at:
http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/doingbusinesswithus/tenderscontracts/approvedbridgecomponents/index.html

shall be used on RTA bridges and those that will become property of RTA, except as follows:

1) For expansion joints where the required range of movements or skews cannot be satisfied by one of
the approved products, any joint accepted for installation shall fully comply with the requirements of
AS 5100.4 Bridge design – Bearings and deck joints, and relevant RTA specifications;

2) For bearings where the range of loads or movements cannot be satisfied by one of the approved
products, any bearing accepted for installation shall fully comply with the requirements of AS 5100.4
Bridge design – Bearings and deck joints, and relevant RTA specifications;

3) For bridge waterproofing membranes, membranes fully complying with the requirements of
CBE 2003/02 will also be considered for approval for RTA use;

4) For post-tensioning and ground anchor systems, submissions for the use of new systems must be in
accordance with RTA B119 Approval of post-tensioning systems;

5) For new grouting systems, submit full details and test results in accordance with RTA B113;

6) For new skid-resistant coatings and other types of bridge components and systems, submit full
details, specifications, test reports and any other evidence of satisfactory performance for review
and assessment to:

Senior Bridge Engineer (Policy & Specifications)
RTA Bridge Engineering
PO Box 3035
Parramatta NSW 2124
DX 28343 Parramatta

This Circular supersedes BPC 2005/02 which is now cancelled.

References: BPC 2005/02

Effective date: 05/05/2008
Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2008/11

2 of 2
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2008/10

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2008/10
BRIDGE DECK JOINTS
Background
Bridge deck joints can be very costly if not properly designed, installed and maintained.
The watertightness of deck joints is critical because when leaking water reaches bearings and lower
bridge elements, corrosion and structural degradation can occur and major maintenance problems may
result. Steel truss bridges and many older bridges have suffered severe damage resulting from long-term
leakage of water through deck joints.
Deck joints, being at road surface level, are constantly impacted by traffic and, once damaged, are prone
to further degradation and can become a traffic hazard.
The replacement or rehabilitation of deck joints invariably involves costly traffic management and
personnel working under hazardous conditions, often at night. The better and the more appropriate the
deck joint and its installation, the more money saved over the life of the bridge and the less the
disruption to traffic.
An RTA policy document covering the selection, design, installation, assessment, maintenance, monitoring
and rehabilitation of deck joints appropriate to specific bridges sites has been developed based on the
results of field inspections of RTA bridges carried out since 1995/1996.
Bridge Technical Direction
RTA bridge policy document Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance –
May 2008 shall apply to the selection, design, installation, assessment, maintenance, monitoring and
rehabilitation of all bridge deck joints on RTA bridges and those that will become property of RTA.
This policy document incorporates relevant details and supersedes Bridge Technical Directions
BPC2006/11, BPC2006/10, CBE 1998/10, CBE 1998/04, and BDI 1984/09.
References: BPC2006/11, BPC2006/10, CBE 1998/10, CBE 1998/04, BDI 1984/09
Effective date: 05/05/2008
Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Bridge Policy & Specifications
Telephone no: 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2008/10

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BRIDGE DECK JOINT SELECTION, DESIGN,
INSTALLATION AND MAINTENANCE
Based on Field Investigations
Date: May 2008

Prepared for: Major Infrastructure and Network Management Directorates
260 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010

Regional Operations & Engineering Services Directorate
Engineering Technology
Bridge Engineering
Bridge Policy and Specifications
File: 4M1824 Tel: 02 8837 0850
Fax: 02 8837 0054
110 George Street, Parramatta NSW 2150 Email: Greg_Forster@rta.nsw.gov.au
BTD2008/10 Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance

Disclaimer
This policy document was prepared by a team managed by officers of the Roads & Traffic Authority of New South
Wales (RTA) for RTA’s purposes only, and apply only to the subject matter of this policy document. The contents
of this policy document do not necessarily apply to organisations or users outside RTA other than those providing
services or products to RTA or on behalf on RTA that are the subject matter of this policy document. No person
should rely on the contents of this publication for any other than the stated use without first obtaining advice from
a qualified professional person. Those persons applying any contents, opinions or conclusions contained in this
policy document for other than RTA purposes that are the subject matter of this policy document do so at their
own risk. RTA expressly disclaims all and any liability and responsibility to any person in respect of anything, and of
the consequences of anything done, or omitted to be done by any person in reliance, whether wholly or partly,
upon the contents of this publication.

Copyright
This work is copyright. Except as permitted by the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), no part may be reproduced by any
process, electronic or otherwise, without the RTA’s prior written permission. Information from this work should
not be stored electronically in any form without the RTA’s prior written permission.

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Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance BTD2008/10

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 General .............................................................................................................................. 1
1.1 Scope ................................................................................................................................ 1
1.2 Introduction...................................................................................................................... 1
1.3 Joint Movements............................................................................................................... 2
2 Types of Joints................................................................................................................... 3
2.1 General ............................................................................................................................. 3
2.2 Asphaltic Plug.................................................................................................................... 4
2.3 Bonded Metal-Elastomer .................................................................................................. 5
2.4 Metal Fingers Bonded to Elastomer ................................................................................. 6
2.5 Cork or Hose Filled ......................................................................................................... 7
2.6 Elastomeric Compression Seal ......................................................................................... 8
2.7 Hot Poured Sealant .......................................................................................................... 9
2.8 Cold Applied Sealant ........................................................................................................ 9
2.9 Fabricated Steel Fingerplate ........................................................................................... 10
2.10 Modular........................................................................................................................... 12
2.11 Moulded Elastomer with Strip Seal ................................................................................ 13
2.12 Open Gap with Protection Angles................................................................................. 14
2.13 Open Gap without Protection Angles ........................................................................... 14
2.14 Sliding Steel Plate ............................................................................................................ 15
2.15 Semi-Rigid Epoxy ............................................................................................................ 16
2.16 Strip Seal ......................................................................................................................... 17
2.17 Saw Tooth ...................................................................................................................... 18
3 Joint Selection.................................................................................................................. 19
3.1 General ........................................................................................................................... 19
3.2 Discontinued Joints......................................................................................................... 19
3.2.1 Cork or Hose Filled.............................................................................................. 19
3.2.2 Hot Poured Sealant .............................................................................................. 20
3.2.3 Moulded Elastomer with Strip Seal ...................................................................... 20
3.2.4 Open Gap without Protection Angles.................................................................. 20
3.2.5 Sliding Steel Plate (for Road Traffic)..................................................................... 20
3.2.6 Semi-Rigid Epoxy .................................................................................................. 20
3.3 Joints for Use Following Site Specific Study ................................................................... 20
3.3.1 Asphaltic Plug........................................................................................................ 20
3.3.2 Bonded Metal-Elastomer ...................................................................................... 21
3.3.3 Metal Fingers Bonded to Elastomer ..................................................................... 21
3.3.4 Open Gap with Protection Angles ....................................................................... 21
3.4 Joints for Continued Usage ............................................................................................ 21
3.4.1 Elastomeric Compression Seal ............................................................................. 21
3.4.2 Cold Applied Sealant ............................................................................................ 22
3.4.3 Fabricated Steel Fingerplate.................................................................................. 22
3.4.4 Modular................................................................................................................. 22
3.4.5 Sliding Steel Plate (for Pedestrian Traffic) ............................................................ 22
3.4.6 Strip Seal ............................................................................................................... 23
3.4.7 Saw Tooth............................................................................................................. 23
3.5 Calculation of Joint Movements ..................................................................................... 23
3.5.1 Thermal Movement .............................................................................................. 23
3.5.2 Thermal Movement Calculator ............................................................................ 23
3.6 Joint Movement Range ................................................................................................... 23
4 Joint Design and Installation............................................................................................ 25
4.1 General ........................................................................................................................... 25
4.2 Asphaltic Plug.................................................................................................................. 26
4.3 Bonded Metal-Elastomer ................................................................................................ 26

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BTD2008/10 Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance

4.4 Metal Fingers Bonded to Elastomer ............................................................................... 26
4.5 Elastomeric Compression Seals ..................................................................................... 26
4.6 Cold Applied Sealant ...................................................................................................... 27
4.7 Fabricated Steel Fingerplates .......................................................................................... 28
4.8 Modular........................................................................................................................... 29
4.9 Strip Seal ......................................................................................................................... 29
4.10 Other.............................................................................................................................. 29
5 Assessment of Joint Condition and Ratings.................................................................... 31
5.1 General ........................................................................................................................... 31
5.2 Assessment Details......................................................................................................... 31
5.3 Condition Rating............................................................................................................. 32
5.4 Performance Rating ........................................................................................................ 32
6 Monitoring, Maintenance and Rehabilitation................................................................... 33
6.1 General ........................................................................................................................... 33
6.2 Monitoring ...................................................................................................................... 33
6.3 Maintenance of Joints ..................................................................................................... 33
6.3.1 Asphaltic Plug........................................................................................................ 34
6.3.2 Elastomeric Compression Seal ............................................................................. 34
6.3.3 Sealant................................................................................................................... 34
6.3.4 Fingerplate ............................................................................................................ 34
6.3.5 Modular................................................................................................................. 34
6.3.6 Strip Seal ............................................................................................................... 34
6.4 Joint Rehabilitation ......................................................................................................... 34
7 Summary.......................................................................................................................... 36

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BRIDGE DECK JOINT
SELECTION, DESIGN, INSTALLATION AND MAINTENANCE
1 General
1.1 Scope
The intent of this RTA policy document is to provide background information on bridge deck joints
used in RTA bridges and to specify a systematic approach to joint selection, design, installation,
assessment, maintenance and rehabilitation.
Recent surveys of RTA bridge deck joints have identified sixteen types that have commonly been
used. The use of some joint types is to be discontinued. This policy document shall be used to
determine replacement alternatives for rehabilitation.
This policy document comprises seven chapters.
The first gives general information about this policy document and bridge deck joints. The second
briefly introduces and describes the sixteen types of joints identified in RTA bridges from inspections
conducted throughout NSW. The third lists discontinued joints, joints for use following site specific
study and joints for continued general use, and provides brief reasons why the use of some types of
joints is to be discontinued. This chapter also explains the calculation of joint thermal movements as
the basis for selecting a joint type for rehabilitation and tabulates the permissible movement ranges
of the eleven joint types that can be used into the future.
The fourth chapter reviews requirements for joint design and installation.
The fifth chapter reviews procedures for inspecting the condition of joints using inspection
proformas prepared by RTA Bridge Engineering to enable collection of data for entry into the Bridge
Joint Assessment (BJA) module delivered by RTA IT Applications to RTA Bridge Engineering’s
specifications, for the purposes of rating joint performance and condition to assist with the
management of RTA’s bridge assets.
The sixth chapter of this policy document specifies requirements for the monitoring of joint
condition, the necessity for regular maintenance, and reasons for rehabilitating joints to arrest
further joint and bridge damage. Some relevant maintenance issues are summarised on the eleven
types selected for continued use.
The seventh chapter provides a brief concluding summary of this RTA policy document.
BTD2008/10 prescribes the use of this policy document for the selection, installation, assessment,
maintenance and rehabilitation of bridge deck joints for RTA bridges or those bridges that will
become property of RTA.
Bridge deck expansion joints are one of those items that listed on the list of RTA approved bridge
components. Only approved components should be used in RTA funded projects or projects that
will become property of RTA. The location of the lists of approved components can be found in
Bridge Technical Direction BTD2008/11 issued for this purpose. Any component claimed to be
approved but not published in a bridge technical direction can be verified by contacting the Senior
Bridge Engineer (Policy and Specifications) Ph: (02) 8837 0850 Fax: (02) 8837 0054.

1.2 Introduction
Bridge deck joints allow movements to occur and prevent development of secondary stresses in
bridge superstructures and substructures. Joints shall not permit unacceptable stresses to develop in
the joint or other parts of the structure from restraints to traffic load effects, temperature changes,
prestressing effects, concrete creep and shrinkage, foundation settlement, earth pressures, mining
subsidence and earthquakes.
Transverse wind and stream flow loads are usually transmitted from the superstructure to the
substructure through bearings, thrust blocks or similar. Deck joints are usually not affected by such
loads.

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BTD2008/10 Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance

Watertightness of bridge deck joints is emphasized by highway owners worldwide. Joints are heavily
impacted by constant traffic. Once joints are damaged, they are prone to further degradation and
can leak. When leaking water reaches the bearings and lower bridge elements, corrosion and
structural degradation can occur and major maintenance problems may result. Steel truss bridges
and many older bridges have suffered severe damage resulting from water leaking through expansion
joints. Because of this, watertightness is important when assessing joint performance. Even though
joints are rarely completely watertight, watertightness is encouraged and expected. Overseas
highway owners often specify performance tests for verifying watertightness of joints.
Bridge deck joints can be very costly if not properly designed, installed and maintained. The
replacement or rehabilitation of joints invariably involves costly traffic management and personnel
working under hazardous conditions, often at night. The better the joint, the more money saved
over the life of the bridge and the less disruption to traffic.
The intent of this RTA policy document is to provide requirements governing the selection,
installation, assessment, maintenance, monitoring and rehabilitation of deck joints appropriate to
specific bridges sites. It is important to know what joints to use, when joints should be rehabilitated,
and how to select the appropriate joint.
During 1995/96 RTA Bridge Engineering initiated a systematic inspection of joints. The inspection
regime has since evolved with detailed items having been identified for inspection. To date, three
inspection programs have been carried out. These were conducted in three stages, the last one
covering all RTA Regions. The Bridge Joint Assessment (BJA) module has been developed to record
and store the results of all joint inspections, to provide data for reference and joint maintenance
purposes, to evaluate condition and rate specific joints and joint types. Additional inspections have
been carried out recently to increase the total sample and to obtain information on non-sealant type
joints.

1.3 Joint Movements
The majority of bridge deck movements occur longitudinally due to temperature changes and
concrete creep and shrinkage. These movements are accommodated at bridge deck expansion
joints, which shall have sufficient movement capability in all the relevant directions of imposed
movements to allow the bridge deck to move freely.
Bridge deck joints are also subject to small longitudinal and vertical movements resulting from
superstructure flexure and deformations of the bridge bearings under traffic loads.
Deck skew can have a major influence on the behaviour and life of some joints. Longitudinal deck
movements that are not perpendicular to the joint gap can cause racking of joint seals and glands.
Traditionally, bridge deck bearings are set horizontal, but the vertical alignment of the road and deck
joints can sometimes be on relatively steep grades. Large movements resulting from temperature
and concrete creep and shrinkage effects will occur in bridges with long and continuous
superstructures. The movement at the expansion joints of such bridges with bearings set
horizontally will be horizontal, and steps in the road profile will occur. This can be a significant
problem in colder and hotter weather when vehicles will run into the step. To avoid this problem
on longer bridges on steep grades, give consideration to setting the bridge bearings below the joint
to the same grade as the road.
Instead of specifying a variable joint gap on the construction drawings the acceptable range of
installation temperatures for a specific gap width may be specified for relatively small span bridges.

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Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance BTD2008/10

2 Types of Joints
2.1 General
Sixteen types of joints were identified during extensive inspections of bridge deck joints in NSW.
For the purposes of this policy document, these can be classified according to movement capability
(small, medium, large) and functional behaviour.
Bridge deck joint types are listed below:
• Asphaltic plug
• Bonded metal-elastomer
• Metal fingers bonded to elastomer
• Cork or hose filled
• Elastomeric compression seal
• Hot poured sealant
• Cold applied sealant
• Fabricated steel fingerplates
• Modular
• Moulded elastomer with strip seal
• Open gap with protection angles
• Open gap without protection angles
• Sliding steel plate
• Semi-rigid epoxy
• Strip seal
• Saw tooth
Note that the figures clarifying the nature of the joint types described in the following clauses of this
policy document may have been extracted from Drawings for a specific bridge, and, for other
bridges, different dimensions and/or details will be used.

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BTD2008/10 Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance

2.2 Asphaltic Plug

DECK CURTAIN APPROACH
WALL SLAB

This small movement joint has a movement range of less than 50 mm.
The joint consists of a wide blockout with a depth of about 50 mm to 60 mm. After placing a backer
rod in the joint gap, a steel bridging plate with thickness of about 6 mm to carry traffic loads over the
joint gap is centred along the length of the blockout and the blockout is primed with hot liquid
polymer modified asphalt binder. The blockout is then filled with heated special quality aggregate and
the binder, and compacted and finished using additional hot binder to fill the voids. The quality of
the joint is dependant on the skill of the work crew operating under the constraints that may exist at
the site.
Although these joints are easy to install and repair and provide a smooth, quiet and seamless road
surface for traffic, softening of the bitumen based binder in hot weather, hardening and cracking in
very cold weather and rutting or delamination in heavy traffic situations are problems that have been
noted in NSW. Lightly trafficked parts of the joints can shove and crack longitudinally along the joint.
These joints have proved to be deficient when installed on lively bridges, for which movement is
discernable under light vehicle traffic, and their use is banned for new bridges for RTA or those that
will become the property of RTA and discouraged for maintenance and rehabilitation works except
for locations where noise issues are predominant, and there is no suitable alternative.
Because of high recorded previous incidences of failures, before installing, maintaining or replacing an
asphaltic plug-type joint, advice regarding suitable techniques and products must be obtained from
the Senior Bridge Engineer (Policy and Specifications) Ph: (02) 8837 0850 Fax: (02) 8837 0054. The
result of deteriorated expansion joints is damage to the adjacent surfacing and deck concrete, and
corrosion of concrete reinforcement and bearings due to water leakage through the joints.

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Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance BTD2008/10

2.3 Bonded Metal-Elastomer

This medium movement joint has a movement range of 50 mm to 165 mm.
The joint comprises monolithically moulded elastomeric panels reinforced with steel plates. The
Waboflex product approved by RTA in BTD2008/11 has aluminium armouring over the central
section of the joint to reduce wear.
An important consideration with this joint is the reported loosening and breaking of anchor bolts
under high-speed traffic. The joint usually requires total replacement when damaged.
RTA used a large number of these joints in long major bridges before concrete creep and shrinkage
was fully understood. Failures were common because actual long-term joint movements were larger
than joint design capacity, and failures were attributed to the joints rather than to the bridge design.
The most important factors for the successful use of these joints are selection of the correct size,
and correct installation. The manufacturer’s literature shall be referenced and complied with when
selecting and installing the joint.
These joints develop relatively large horizontal forces, compared to fingerplates or elastomeric strip
seals, that need to be resisted by the anchorages and bridge abutments.
The joints should be installed at the joint gap width appropriate for the actual bridge temperature as
specified on the Drawings or in the manufacturer’s specification to avoid potential problems. Setting
of the joint at too cold a temperature may in hot temperature cause the joint to buckle up in the
middle and result in damage by traffic. If installed in hot weather, excessive stretching in cold
weather later may damage the elastomer or the anchorages.
The applicable specification is RTA B318.

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BTD2008/10 Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance

2.4 Metal Fingers Bonded to Elastomer

This medium movement joint has a movement range from 50 mm up to 500 mm.
The joint comprises steel male fingers that slot into an elastomeric female seat. The female seat is
vulcanised onto a relatively thin steel base plate anchored to the deck or abutment by holding down
bolts. The steel male fingers are vulcanised onto an elastomeric pad which is also vulcanised onto
the steel base plate. The base plates are anchored to the bridge deck or the abutment by holding
down bolts. The steel male fingers rely on the vulcanised bond with the elastomer to secure it
under traffic loading. Failures of these joints have occurred due to debonding of the steel male
fingers from the elastomer, with the recoil of the dislodged plate as the bond breaks causing an
extreme hazard.
One of earlier versions of this type of expansion joint originally supplied by PSC and now by Austress
Freyssinet is known as an FT joint. It consists of independent segments ranging in length from 0.5 m
to 1.0 m long. Due to ageing of the joint, incorrect installation or lack of maintenance, the bond of
the rubber can fail, resulting in the steel male plate becoming detached from the rest of the joint.
The bond failure typically begins at the finger side of the male half of the joint.
Remove and replace debonding segments as evidenced by lifting of the fingers. Any missing segments
in the carriageway can be replaced with one from the shoulder after covering the gap by a suitable
steel plate spanning the gap anchored with temporary sleeved bolts screwed into threaded holes.
For all bridges with PSC or Freyssinet FT type or Zillmere expansion joints relying only on bonding
of the top male plate, retrofitting shall be undertaken to prevent the male plates coming adrift. This
shall comprise the staged removal of segments to drill extra holes through the bonded but unbolted
male top plate and the lower steel base plate, and securing both plates using high strength socket
head safety screws with associated sleeves, washers and nuts - see Sketch KP71 following. The
segments shall then be reinstalled.
This does not strengthen the joint but provides adequate warning before it becomes a traffic hazard.
Routine maintenance should include inspection for debonding of the male plates.
Any new joints should be ordered specifying the joints be supplied with safety screws to keep the
male fingerplate secured in the event of the elastomer/steel bond failing.
There is currently no RTA specification for this joint type. These joints should only be procured
from RTA approved suppliers in accordance with BTD2008/11.
Advice on the repair or replacement of these types of joints should be sought from the Senior Bridge
Engineer (Policy and Specifications) Ph: (02) 8837 0850 Fax: (02) 8837 0054.

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Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance BTD2008/10

2.5 Cork or Hose Filled

HOSE COMPRESSED
INTO OPENING

These older type of joints are not watertight and were mostly used for footpaths where live load and
temperature movements are small. They were sometimes used as bridge joints for movement
ranges up to 5 mm. Use for bridgeworks is prohibited due to lack of watertightness.
The applicable specification is QC specification RTA 2311.

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BTD2008/10 Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance

2.6 Elastomeric Compression Seal

This small to medium movement joint has a movement range of 5 mm to 60 mm.
The box shaped elastomeric compression seals are usually of closed cell or open cell cross section.
Closed cell seals are not common. Semi-hollow extruded seals with internal web stiffening are more
commonly used. The elastomer shall conform to the specified strict material and testing
requirements to give assurance of long-term joint performance as the quality of elastomer and its
long term resilience is crucial.
The recommended practice for heavy duty compression seals in bridgeworks is the armour
protected joint with projecting flat steel seating strips to prevent the seal squeezing down through
the joint. The flat steel seating strips or lugs must be used as shown in the figure over the full width
of the roadway pavement.
Although some overseas transport agencies have rated this type of joint highly for bridge
applications, others have reportedly abandoned its usage entirely due to unreliable performance.
Installation quality, seal size and material selection may be causes for contrasting performance and
diverse opinions.
Specifying the seal size appropriately following the measurement of the actual joint gap width and
making allowance for concrete creep and shrinkage movements in accordance with AS 5100 prior to
making up the order for supply is critical to performance, as each seal size will only perform
effectively within a defined movement and joint gap range.
The seals for these joints shall be procured only from RTA approved suppliers with complying test
results provided with each delivery.
Metal protection armouring shall be used with compression seals.
As concrete compaction under the steel protection angles is problematic, strip seal joints with
wedge shaped metal retainers are preferred over compression seal joints, especially as the number of
manufacturers of compression seals is reducing.
The applicable specification is RTA B310.

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Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance BTD2008/10

2.7 Hot Poured Sealant

This small movement joint has a movement range of less than 6 mm.
Heated asphalt, coal tar products or synthetic rubbers are used as sealants. In older RTA bridges,
“Megaprene” hot poured sealant product supplied in hard bituminous blocks was melted by heating
on site and then poured into the prepared joint gaps. Being bituminous, the melting point of the
material is low and on hot days this can cause the sealant to flow. On cold days, the material
becomes too stiff to accommodate the opening of the joint due to contraction of the bridge deck,
the sealant splits allowing debris to enter and become trapped in the joint, and water can penetrate
the cracks in the sealant. The cracks can self heal when the material heats up on hot days. Over
time, the entrapped debris blocks the joint gap completely, making the joint solid, with the displaced
sealant being extruded onto the road surface. The bituminous material also hardens and can become
brittle with age.
This type of joint was banned by RTA in 1996 by BTD1996/01 because of these deficiencies.

2.8 Cold Applied Sealant

This small movement joint has a movement range of up to about 20 mm.
Details of these joints are similar to the hot poured sealant joint but the sealant is different and is
cold applied.
Due to the improved performance of newer sealants, they are now specified for RTA works.
These sealant type joints have traditionally been used on shorter bridges. However with the newer
sealant materials now available, manufacturers currently propose their use for larger movements
than in the past but, notwithstanding this, their design and supply shall conform to RTA B312.
Silicone and polyurethane are now the most commonly used sealants.
Only RTA approved products shall be used.

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BTD2008/10 Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance

Sealant joints are easy to repair as the failed portions can be quickly removed and replaced. This
reduces traffic disruption and hazards in the work area.
The performance of this type of joint is almost unaffected by sides of the joint not being perfectly
parallel or vertical.
The shape factor, this being the ratio of the width to the depth of the sealant, is an important
parameter for design as the sealant strain capacity increases directly in proportion to the width and
inversely in proportion to the depth of the sealant in the joint. The depth of the sealant at the
centre should be about half the width of the joint and it is important to prevent sealant from bonding
to the backer rod below. The preparation of the joint blockout, and mixing and application of the
sealant, shall be strictly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, RTA’s B312 specification
and associated Standard Bridge Drawings.
Some intermittent spalling of concrete nosings in sealant joints has been reported. The concrete
must have sufficient strength and maturity at sealant installation to prevent this.
These joints can also be damaged due to rollers compacting asphalt. Care shall be taken when
forming the recess during deck construction. Because of these problems, these joints are sometimes
covered with asphalt or replaced using strip seal joints.
Small movement deck joints for RTA bridge works must be in accordance with the RTA Standard
Bridge Drawings Nos RTAB035, RTAB035A and RTAB035B, as appropriate to the type of work.
The applicable specification is RTA B312, which closely reflects the properties of products now
available on the market.

2.9 Fabricated Steel Fingerplate

AT 20ºC

This large movement joint has a movement range of 75 mm to 600 mm.
Fingerplate type joints are used for larger joint movements on major structures, and generally
comprise steel top fingerplates bolted with high tensile cap screws to steel base plates cast into the
deck concrete. Other anchorage systems do exist, and the relevant Works-As-Executed drawings
should be checked before carrying out inspections or work on a joint.
The fingers are fabricated from steel plate, and are usually hot dipped galvanised after being given a
skid resistant surfacing comprising 3 mm welds on a 100 mm x 100 mm criss-cross pattern.

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Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance BTD2008/10

This type of expansion joint is usually provided with various types of drainage or is left open with
runoff draining to an abutment gutter below. If a trough made of flexible neoprene sheet is provided
under the fingerplates, a transverse slope of about 8% should be adequate for self-cleaning. The
gutter shall be regularly maintained. Stainless steel drainage troughs shall be provided for new
fingerplate joints.
Regular inspection and monitoring of these joints is required for public safety. Some fingerplate type
joints may have anchorage problems or problems with the fingers being misaligned vertically, causing
unacceptable noise or a rough riding surface. Loose plates pose a severe hazard if the holding down
cap screws or the base plate anchorages fail.
In new long bridges with significant creep and shrinkage re-setting of fingerplates should be
considered by providing extra bolt holes in the plates.
The minimum overlap of fingers during cold weather specified in AS 5100.4 is 15 mm with a
maximum gap between adjacent fingers of 50 mm.
Recent fingerplate joint designs use long debonded anchor bolts to avoid the use of base plates as
shown below.

The applicable specification is RTA B241.

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BTD2008/10 Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance

2.10 Modular

This large movement joint has a movement range of 100 mm to 600+ mm but joints with a
movement capability of over 2 m have been designed for use on very long bridges overseas. This
joint is used in major bridges to accommodate large movements, with design, supply and installation
requiring specialist knowledge and skills.
Modular joints are prone to various problems including fatigue cracking and damage to the support
bars and bearings, to the equalizing springs, to the edge rails due to inadequate concrete compaction
during installation, and to the elastomeric seals.
An extensive survey of modular joints across RTA has been carried out in separate studies, which
should be referred to and specialist RTA advice obtained before making decisions regarding the
selection of specific modular joints for major RTA bridges.
RTA has investigated and carried out research into the dynamic behaviour of these joints and has
examined issues associated with these joints such as vibration, noise, excitation and damping.
Bridge Technical Direction BTD2004/08 specifies the requirements to allow for the installation of an
effective noise abatement system and providing sufficient space for inspection and maintenance of the
joint. Designers and Project Managers must implement BTD2004/08.
The applicable specification is RTA B316, the latest edition of which contains the outcomes of
previous RTA surveys and investigations carried out over the last several years.

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Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance BTD2008/10

2.11 Moulded Elastomer with Strip Seal

This medium movement joint has a movement range of 50 mm to 100 mm. The joint comprises a
continuous folded elastomeric membrane across the joint gap, held down with elastomeric modular
segments that are moulded around steel plate retainers, anchored by relatively small diameter bolts
cast into the concrete at large spacings. This joint has some ability to accommodate directional
changes and skews in the joint configuration, often without any need for a splice in the seal. The
most common type is the Felspan type joint.
Under traffic, the elastomeric moulding around the retainers wears away. Failure of the anchorages
due to repetitive live load impacts has been frequently reported which, together with splitting of the
seals, means that the retainers can become loose, creating a hazard.
If the anchorages of this type of joint are inadequate or the membrane leaks, the joint should be
replaced with a conforming strip seal joint, either a fabricated steel version designed for bridge deck
joint rehabilitation works or a proprietary system.

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BTD2008/10 Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance

2.12 Open Gap with Protection Angles

This medium movement joint has a movement range of 5 mm to 85 mm ULS, with the upper limit
being that for open gaps specified by AS 5100.4.
The joint comprises a protective armouring of galvanised steel angles cast into the deck and
abutments.
This joint is unsealed, and allows free entry of water and debris into the joint gap.
This joint should not be used on new bridges or for deck joint rehabilitation as it does not conform
to AS 5100.4 in regards to watertightness and sealing against dirt ingress. These joints pose a hazard
to stock on hooves, pedestrians and cyclists.
The applicable specification is RTA B241 for fabrication and galvanising of the protection angles.

2.13 Open Gap without Protection Angles
This medium movement joint has a movement range of 5 mm to 85 mm ULS, with the upper limit
being that for open gaps specified by AS 5100.4.
The joint comprises an open cast concrete gap at the deck and abutment interface.
This joint is unsealed, and allows free entry of water and debris into the joint gap. The details for
this joint are very similar to those of the open gap joint above but without the galvanised steel angles.
This type of joint should not be used on new bridges or for joint rehabilitation as it does not
conform to AS 5100.4 in regards to watertightness and sealing. These joints pose a hazard to stock
on hooves.

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Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance BTD2008/10

2.14 Sliding Steel Plate

This medium movement joint has a movement range of 50 mm to 100 mm, with the lower limit
governed by the supporting steelwork beneath the sliding plate.
The joint comprises steel plates covering the joint gap, anchored on one side and free to slide on the
other. This type of joint is not watertight. It becomes damaged when the anchorages fail. Because
there is steel to steel contact and the plates can become loose, it can cause severe noise problems,
particularly in an urban environment. The plates have to be adjusted and tightened periodically to
reduce noise levels and to keep them safe. Plates improperly installed can bend, warp and break off
at the anchorages due to the repetitive impact loads from heavy traffic. Relative deformations of the
bearings on each side of the joint under traffic loads can impose prying type effects on the sliding
plates that can cause anchorage failures.
This type of joint can prevent most debris passing through the joint but cannot effectively stop water
leakage or accumulation of debris. It shall not be used for road traffic areas as it does not conform
to AS 5100.4 in regards to watertightness and sealing against dirt ingress.
Modifications have been made over the years to these joints attempting to make them safer and
quieter. The most typical modification comprises an arrangement of bolts and springs to keep the
sliding faces in permanent contact.
Sliding steel plate joints are unsatisfactory on major highways as the plates can be dislodged, buckled
and bent from heavy vehicles travelling over them and can become hazardous for vehicles and
pedestrians. Because of the unsatisfactory performance of this type of joint, other types have
replaced them.
The applicable specification is RTA B241 for fabrication and galvanising of the steel plates and
RTA B240 for the anchor bolts.
AS 5100.4 does not recommend this joint under road traffic as it can generate excessive noise and
problems in service.

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BTD2008/10 Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance

2.15 Semi-Rigid Epoxy

▼ NOMINAL GAP TO
BE CONFIRMED ON SITE
PRIOR TO INSTALLATION

This joint comes in two variants, one being a small movement joint and the other being a plug type
joint. The material of these joints is a proprietary semi-rigid epoxy (SRE).
The bottom of the joint gap is covered by masking tape or other bond breaking material and the
prepared blockout filled with the liquid epoxy, which sets as a rubbery solid. Traffic is able to
traverse the joint soon after placement, which means that joint installation can be done quickly,
which is advantageous in repair/rehabilitation type situations.
The movement capability of the small movement variant of these joints is relatively small compared
to sealants, and limits their use for bridgeworks.
Everek SRE small movement joints were once approved by RTA and called up on Standard Bridge
Drawings but, following the adverse findings of joint inspections across NSW and problems in
service, that approval was revoked. They shall no longer be used, with cold-applied sealants
conforming to RTA B312 and associated Standard Bridge Drawings used instead.
Problems with the plug type variant of this joint arise because Poisson’s ratio effects result in the SRE
material not remaining adhered to the primed concrete substrate, being prised off by traffic shoving
the hump formed at the joint gap when the temperature rises and the joint is compressed.
Conversely, when the material is cold and stiff, delamination of the joint in tension from the concrete
may occur and a potential traffic hazard arises from the detached SRE plug lying loose in the
blockout.
SRE plug type joints shall not be used, with use of a properly placed asphaltic plug joint possible as an
alternative for replacement at some sites, following consideration of suitability. Otherwise, failed
SRE joints should be replaced with a fabricated steel strip seal joint for long-term durability of the
replaced joint.

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Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance BTD2008/10

2.16 Strip Seal

NOMINAL GAP TO BE CONFIRMED ON SITE

This medium movement joint is used for movement ranges of 0 mm to 85mm.
There are larger size strip seals on the market which do not comply with AS 5100.4 as the total gap
width between retainers after accounting for concrete creep and shrinkage must be less than 85 mm
ULS.
Strip seal joints currently approved under BTD2008/11 comprise extruded aluminium wedge shaped
retainers cast into the concrete anchored with high strength debonded bolts threaded into ferrule
type cast-in inserts. Seals/glands are extruded elastomer with stringent material and performance
specification requirements for long-term performance under the severe environmental conditions
experienced by bridge deck joints.
The elastomeric gland is mechanically locked on both sides of the joint by the rolled or extruded
keys of the retainers. The strip seal retainers protect the edges of the deck or abutment against live
load impact whilst also gripping the elastomeric gland.
AS 5100.4 requires metal protection armouring for strip seal joints. An RTA approved version of
this type of joint that complies with AS 5100.4 is shown in the above figure.
When joints are assessed for RTA approval, the metal retainers are closely examined for fatigue
resistance.
Depending on the supplier, the performance of earlier aluminium versions of this joint was variable
because of the design of the joint at that time. Field performance has improved over the last decade
because the design was changed from a trough shape to the solid wedge shape now in use, which is
now the only version approved by RTA in BTD2008/11, and is supplied by several suppliers.
The applicable specification is RTA B315.

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BTD2008/10 Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance

2.17 Saw Tooth

This medium movement joint is used for movement ranges of 85 to 160 mm
Proprietary cast aluminium saw tooth bridge deck joints are now commonly specified for expansion
joints with mid-range movements too large to be accommodated using strip seal or compression seal
type joints, but not large enough to warrant the use of fabricated steel fingerplate type joints.
At present, two makes of saw tooth joint have been approved for use on RTA funded bridges and
others will appear on the list of approved components following approval.
Clause 17.3.5 of AS 5100.4 which applies to joint gap issues with fingerplate type joints was not
intended to address the issues arising from the use of saw tooth type bridge deck joints.
Where these joints are used on skewed bridges, the sides of the saw teeth are at different angles to
the direction of traffic and joint movement. Because the tooth configuration is not changed to adjust
for the skew, gaps larger than those of joints orthogonal to traffic can occur. The sides of adjacent
teeth can also be parallel or almost parallel to the direction of traffic, which can trap the wheels of
two wheeled traffic to track them in and along the direction of the gaps between the teeth sides (see
Figure).

These hazards to two wheeled traffic, especially motorcycles and pushbikes, are not acceptable.
Saw tooth bridge deck joints shall only be used on straight and square bridges and shall not be
permitted for use on skewed bridges in order to minimise possible traffic hazards posed.
The applicable specification is RTA B319.

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Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance BTD2008/10

3 Joint Selection
3.1 General
The selection of bridge deck joints shall be based on factors including superstructure type,
movement range, bridge alignment and skew, location of joint, satisfactory field performance,
durability, maintenance requirements, traffic type and intensity, expected joint life, installation time,
bridge life cycle cost and noise. Initial cost should not be a consideration, as the consequences of
joint failure and bridge damage can far exceed the supply cost of the joint.
Various types of bridge deck joints are found in RTA’s bridges, but not all of them are currently
approved under BTD2008/11 for installation in new bridges or for rehabilitation of failed joints.
Sixteen joint types were identified during the inspections and the data collected for fifteen was
analysed to rate their performance. Based on previous experience and these inspections, RTA has
limited the use of some joints. Hot poured sealant type joints were banned by BTD1996/01 in 1996.
Deck joints should have tolerances that will cater for unanticipated movements.
The effects of the road grade and bearing alignment i.e. horizontal or on the grade of the road, acting
concurrently with the thermal deck movements should be considered during joint selection, as
bridges on a steep grade with horizontal bearings will experience significant relative vertical
translation of both sides of the joint gap.
The bridge skew may eliminate from use some types of joints, e.g. compression seal joint.
Paint or galvanising should be used to protect steel sections.
The use of aluminium components is only permitted for joints with proven satisfactory performance.
A non-metallic epoxy paint coating shall be applied to all aluminium surfaces in contact with
concrete, as aluminium is very susceptible to chloride attack when the concrete is wet.
Selecting a bridge deck joint will usually depend on the calculated movements between the opposing
sides of the joint gap, which will usually be at the interface between the bridge deck or approach
slabs and the abutment curtain walls. Joints at the ends of suspended deck spans are selected in a
similar manner.
During the life of the bridge, bearings can seize, abutments can move and close up joints, and joints
can become packed full of rubbish and debris, all resulting in the observed bridge articulations and
movements being different from that assumed in the original design.
The design for replacement joints in existing bridges shall assume that the structure will one day be
restored to its original articulation.
The design criteria for a replacement joint are the same as for a joint on a new bridge. Replacement
and new joints shall be designed in accordance with AS 5100.4 accounting for the effects of residual
concrete creep and shrinkage for concrete bridges.
If the bearings are non-functional, restoration or replacement of bearings should be considered
concurrently with replacement of the joint.

3.2 Discontinued Joints
Among the sixteen types of bridge deck joints identified during RTA inspections, six joints are either
no longer used or expected to be used in new RTA bridges or for joint rehabilitation due to poor
long-term performance. These discontinued joints are discussed below together with replacement
options.

3.2.1 Cork or Hose Filled
These joint are not suitable for trafficable surfaces as they can be displaced by traffic and are not
watertight. Because of their ease of installation, cost and nature, they are used widely for footpaths.
If damaged or deteriorated, these joints can be replaced by cold applied sealant joints.

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BTD2008/10 Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance

3.2.2 Hot Poured Sealant
These sealants are bitumen based and become very soft during summer and hard and stiff during
winter, giving the unstable behaviour which resulted in RTA banning this type of joint.
However, RTA Regional joint inspections show that the performance of this joint is perceived by the
inspectors to be mainly satisfactory. The sealant’s deficiencies fail to have obvious adverse effects on
overall joint behaviour, which may be due to self-healing of cracks when the material heats up on a
hot day or from remoulding under traffic.
Future improvements in sealant materials may help to eliminate some of the problems associated
with this type of joint and may then make hot applied sealants suitable for RTA use.
Cold applied sealants shall at this time be used instead of hot applied sealants.
If failed, this joint shall be replaced by a cold applied sealant joint.

3.2.3 Moulded Elastomer with Strip Seal
This joint was identified as having inadequate anchorages and exhibiting excessive wear of the
elastomeric moulding around the retainers. This joint shall not be used since failure progresses
relatively rapidly after initiation.
If damaged, this joint could be replaced by either a strip seal, bonded metal elastomer, metal fingers
bonded to elastomer, or steel fingerplates, depending on the required movement range.

3.2.4 Open Gap without Protection Angles
This joint is the simplest form of deck joint and its use is not permitted because metal armouring is
required by AS 5100.4 for the open gap for protection of the concrete deck edges. As it does not
comply with AS 5100.4, it shall not be used for new RTA bridges or those that will become the
property of RTA.
This joint can be replaced by a cold applied sealant, an elastomeric compression seal or a strip seal,
depending on the required movement range.

3.2.5 Sliding Steel Plate (for Road Traffic)
This joint prevents most debris passing through the opening but not water penetration. As it is
common for the plates to become loose over time, this joint requires frequent tightening of the bolts
to reduce noise levels.
These joints shall generally be replaced by joints such as elastomeric compression seals, strip seals or
steel fingerplates, depending on the required movement range.

3.2.6 Semi-Rigid Epoxy
This proprietary semi-rigid epoxy material is too stiff at low temperatures and delaminates under
tension from the concrete and in hot conditions is prised from the concrete by the traffic, and shall
not be used.
This joint can be replaced by an asphaltic plug, but only at sites with a requirement for noise control,
or by a cold applied sealant or elastomeric compression seal, depending on the required movement
range.

3.3 Joints for Use Following Site Specific Study
3.3.1 Asphaltic Plug
Even though the use of asphaltic plug type joints is not encouraged, at present this joint can be used
only when no other joint type is suitable for solving severe noise issues at a specific site.
The joint should have a uniform width of at least 600 mm.
This joint is suitable only for roadways without barriers and kerbs as effective sealing of joint upturns
is difficult.

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Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance BTD2008/10

Even though this joint is easy to install and repair, it tends to rut, crack or delaminate under certain
traffic conditions.
Do not use this type of joint on lightly trafficked roads or parts of the roadway e.g. wide shoulders,
as deformation and binder flow outside the wheel paths may occur, creating a traffic hazard.
Binders with higher thermal stability will be required to reduce debonding and binder flow in joints
on roads with steep grades or cross-falls or areas subject to sudden acceleration or deceleration
such as at traffic lights and off load ramps.
If damaged, this joint could be replaced either by a cold applied sealant joint or an elastomeric
compression seal joint.

3.3.2 Bonded Metal-Elastomer
Early failures of this type of joint in major RTA bridges were attributed to insufficient joint
movement capacity, not bridge design, resulting from lack of understanding of the long-term effects
of concrete creep and shrinkage, particularly for longer bridge decks.
Sixteen of these joints were inspected during the RTA joint inspection project, this sample size being
relatively small. The performance ratings are highly variable, indicating that this joint should be
specified for use with caution, taking into account its high replacement cost and variable field
performance. Its failure will require complete replacement.
The bonded metal-elastomer expansion joints on the M2 Motorway were noisy due to “clapping” of
the joint on the concrete because the use of a single row of anchor bolts for anchoring each side of
the joints allowed this effect to occur. These joints were replaced with quiet joints a relatively short
time after the opening of the motorway.
Other types of joint with equivalent movement capacity should be considered in preference to this
type of joint.

3.3.3 Metal Fingers Bonded to Elastomer
The steel male plate of this joint is secured to its steel baseplate only by the vulcanised bond of the
elastomer between the two plates. BTD1998/04 initially detailed the measures that shall be taken to
reduce the hazards caused by debonding of the steel male plate, which will improve the joint’s
performance and make it suitable for continued use. These measures are included in Clause 2.4 of
this document.

3.3.4 Open Gap with Protection Angles
This is one of the simplest forms of joint. Metal protection angles are used to protect the concrete
edges from damage and wear. AS 5100.4 permits use of this type of joint, but only with provision of
a drainage system, specifying that:
“Where a joint is not sealed, the gap shall be wider at the bottom than at the top to prevent stones
and debris from lodging in the joint, and a drainage system with access for cleaning shall be
provided.”
This joint shall be provided with troughs for drainage under the deck or along the top of headstocks.
This joint could be replaced by a cold applied sealant, an elastomeric compression seal or a strip seal
joint, depending on the required movement range.

3.4 Joints for Continued Usage
Among the sixteen joints identified, the continued use of six joint types is permitted without
qualifications. It is expected that the performance of these joints will continue to improve following
further developments in materials and in installation methods.

3.4.1 Elastomeric Compression Seal
AS 5100.4 requires metal protection armour for this joint. Where this is not possible on older
bridges, this type of joint should be installed by forming the gap narrower than the design width and

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BTD2008/10 Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance

saw cutting with a diamond blade immediately prior to seal installation to ensure correct and
uniform width for installation.
The saw cutting technique shall only be used in exceptional circumstances on older bridges.
This joint is popular due to relative ease of installation, cost effectiveness and its flexibility to
accommodate different movement ranges. Do not use these joints in decks with greater than
20 degrees skew.

3.4.2 Cold Applied Sealant
Only the cold applied variants of sealant type joints are permitted for continued use.
Cold applied sealants are now specified for RTA small movement joints due to easy handling and
stable behaviour.
Regardless of claimed or tested properties, sealants shall not be subjected to expansion or
contraction deck movements greater than one quarter of the installation width of the sealant.
This type of joint is specified using RTA B312 and the associated RTA Standard Bridge Drawings.
Where applicable, the standard details shall be adopted.

3.4.3 Fabricated Steel Fingerplate
These joints are normally provided for larger joint gaps on major structures and can tolerate only
small rotational movements and vertical deflections across the joint.
The longitudinal movement capacity is limited by the length of the fingers which are subject to severe
fatigue loading from repetitive wheel load impacts.
AS 5100.4 limits the gap between adjacent fingers to 50 mm. Consideration needs to be given to
non-vehicular traffic to ensure that the open slots formed by this joint are within acceptable limits.
Welding for this joint, when carried out, is critical as it rapidly accumulates millions of traffic load
cycles. AS 5100.4 specifies infinite fatigue load cycles for design unless a detailed site specific
investigation is undertaken.
This is a stable joint and tends to have fewer problems than other joints. It can cover the majority of
movement ranges, but new joints shall be provided with a stainless steel drainage trough to minimise
water damage to the bridge elements underneath.

3.4.4 Modular
These joints are used in major bridges to accommodate large movements, with design and supply
requiring specialist skills. Extensive survey and research on the behaviour of modular joints has been
undertaken by the RTA (refer to the proceedings of the Austroads Bridge Conferences in 2004 and
2006) which should be referred to before a decision is made regarding the selection of this joint.
Because of high initial and maintenance costs, steel fingerplate joints capable of large movement
ranges and with drainage troughs are becoming a cost effective alternative to lower movement range
modular joints.
Replacement of modular joints with steel fingerplates is sometimes possible after the bulk of
concrete shrinkage and creep losses has occurred in the structure.
This joint is the obvious option for very large movements, but should only be used when fabricated
steel fingerplates are not viable.

3.4.5 Sliding Steel Plate (for Pedestrian Traffic)
Sliding steel plate joints are used on pedestrian bridges, with their continued use for such areas
envisaged in the last paragraph of Clause 17.3.1 of AS 5100.4.
This joint prevents most debris passing through the opening, but not water intrusion, which should
be minimised by provision of a drainage trough beneath the joint.

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Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance BTD2008/10

3.4.6 Strip Seal
Some products on the market have RTA approval under BTD2008/11. The performance of the new
versions of this joint has improved over the older versions. RTA’s inspectors identified this joint as
having the smallest proportion of poor or failed joints of those inspected, the sample size being
relatively large, indicating its suitability for bridge applications. Many highway owners around the
world prefer this type of expansion joint and future continued widespread use is expected.
Build up of debris at shoulders and lightly trafficked areas can be a problem, which can be alleviated
by strategically placed scuppers.

3.4.7 Saw Tooth
Two products on the market have RTA approval. As initially mandated by BTD2006/10, this joint
shall not be selected for expansion joints skewed to the direction of traffic on RTA bridges or
bridges that will become property of RTA.

3.5 Calculation of Joint Movements
The required movement range is the most important factor in joint selection as this will quickly
reduce the number of available alternatives. Deck joints shall be designed to accommodate ultimate
limit state (ULS) movements due to several effects including thermal, creep, shrinkage, differential
settlement, braking forces, transverse movements especially in skew bridges and movements arising
from other causes. The algebraic sum of the combination of movements shall be used to estimate
the required movement range. In the case of ten or more years’ old existing concrete bridges, creep
and shrinkage effects become insignificant, with thermal effects usually constituting the bulk of the
movement.

3.5.1 Thermal Movement
Thermal movement of bridge deck joints shall be calculated considering the articulation of the bridge,
its location, altitude and type of superstructure.
The applicable temperature range to be used in calculations is specified in AS 5100.2.

3.5.2 Thermal Movement Calculator
A thermal movement calculator that includes the above factors has been developed within Bridge
Engineering and has been released for use by RTA personnel. It can only be used for calculating the
thermal movements of a bridge. Other movements from other causes shall be added or subtracted
as appropriate to determine actual joint movements. AS 5100.4 requires the design of joints to use
ultimate limit state movements. An ultimate thermal factor of 1.25 is included in the calculator.
RTA personnel can obtain the thermal movement calculator from the Senior Bridge Engineer (Policy
and Specifications) Ph: (02) 8837 0850 Fax: (02) 8837 0054.

3.6 Joint Movement Range
Deck joints shall be designed for the movement range calculated in accordance with AS 5100.2.
The movement ranges applicable to some of the types of joints considered in this RTA policy
document are summarized below.

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BTD2008/10 Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance

Joint Type Movement Range Remarks
Can only be used where noise
Asphaltic plug < 50 mm
reduction is required.
Proper installation is the key to
Bonded metal-elastomer 50 – 165 mm success. 165 mm appears to be the
limiting movement range.
Metal fingers bonded to BTD1998/04 now incorporated into
50 – 500 mm
elastomer Clause 2.4 of this document.
Elastomeric compression The seal should remain in
> 5 mm and < 60 mm
seal compression throughout its life.
Improvement in sealant properties
has increased current nominal
movement ranges to 100% elongation
Cold applied sealant < 20 mm and 50% contraction. AS 5100.4
limits movement capacity to ± 25% of
the installation gap irrespective of
claimed or tested properties.
Fabricated steel fingerplate > 75 mm up to 600 mm Requires a drainage trough.
RTA studies regarding behaviour of
Modular > 100 mm up to 2 m modular joints shall be referenced
before selection.
Sliding steel plate (for
50 mm to 100 mm Requires a drainage trough.
pedestrian traffic)
Claimed movement capacity more
than 100 mm but restricted by
Strip seal > 0 mm and < 85 mm
AS 5100.4’s 85 mm ULS maximum
gap.

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Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance BTD2008/10

4 Joint Design and Installation
4.1 General
The performance of bridge deck joints depends on materials, design, installation, and maintenance.
Poor installation can lead to premature failure irrespective of design and materials used.
Joint design shall be carried out in accordance with AS 5100.4 and the relevant RTA specification.
Designers are referred to RTA papers “Design and Installation of Socket Head Cap Screws and Bolts
for Expansion Joint Anchorages – April 2008”, “Locking Devices for Stressbar Nuts and Cap Screws
– August 2005”, “Design of Through-Bolts for Anchoring Expansion Joints to Concrete Bridge Decks
– May 2008”, “Procedures for the Design of Fingerplate Expansion Joints – May 2008”.
Joint anchorages shall not include non-metal components, except for those that do not contribute to
the load carrying capacity of the anchorage e.g. plastic bolt sleeves, as such materials will result in the
anchorages becoming detensioned and subsequently working loose, causing failure of the joint.
Any elastomeric drainage systems shall be attached at metal anchor points only, not through the
elastomer, to prevent the attachments working loose.
Expansion joints shall not generate excessive noise or vibration under traffic.
All joint gaps and slots shall be covered where pedestrians or animals travel over the joint.
Joints shall be easily accessible for the purposes of inspection, maintenance and replacement and
their components should be corrosion resistant and durable.
AS 5100.4 requires metal protection armour for compression seal and strip seal joints.
Metal protection armour should be provided to protect concrete edges, be of sufficient width and
thickness to avoid welding distortion and have adequate anchorage to the deck. To prevent pull-out,
anchors shall be of sufficient length into the reinforced concrete substrate. BTD1990/07 applies for
protection angles with welded shear stud anchors. Anchors should preferably be cast-in.
An anti-skid treatment shall be provided to metal surfaces wider than 200 mm exposed to vehicular
traffic, preferably comprising 3 mm criss-cross welds at 100 mm spacing.
Adjacent to metal protection armour, concrete nosings should be provided to minimize the risk of
asphalt failure adjacent to the joint.
Compaction of the concrete surrounding the joint and armouring is critical, and is achieved by
eliminating voids in the concrete. Expulsion of entrapped air underneath the joint or armouring shall
be aided by providing vent or bleed holes at regular spacings along its length.
The drawings should provide clear and sufficient details of the joint and installation procedures.
In new bridge construction, provisions for diverting rainfall runoff should be in place before installing
the joint to prevent as much water as possible from reaching the blockout and joint works.
A joint should be installed allowing adequate time for any bedding to cure and gain sufficient strength
before being subjected to traffic. Replacement of joints in urban situations usually occurs at night just
before or after midnight to minimise disruption to traffic. Temperatures at these times can be low,
and curing and strength gains in epoxies and cementitious materials can be slowed, so selection of
the correct product for the applicable temperature during installation is essential.
It is good practice to delay installation of deck expansion joints as long as practical, particularly for
concrete bridges, to reduce the effects of creep and shrinkage.
The joint installer should adjust the setting of the joint gaps for temperatures that are different from
the nominal temperature specified on the joint Drawings. This is done by taking the temperature of
the bridge just prior to joint installation and multiplying the difference between the nominal and
actual temperature by the length in metres between the fixed bearings/points of the bridge within
which the joint lies by 0.012 for a steel bridge, and by 0.011 for a concrete bridge, and increasing the
joint gap by that number in millimetres if the bridge is colder than the nominal temperature and

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BTD2008/10 Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance

decreasing it if the bridge is warmer than the nominal temperature. This information should be
provided on the joint design Drawings.
For large movements insert the thermometer into drilled holes in the concrete to increase the
accuracy of measurement.
Cementitious mortars and concretes shall be used for joint installation, as these products are usually
more compatible with the concrete substrate than non-cementitious materials and have the same
material properties, including coefficient of thermal expansion. This should result in the installation
being as durable as the concrete substrate with which it is composite.
Polymer concrete used for nosings for the rehabilitation of small movement joints should have low
shrinkage and increased flexibility to prevent cracking and to provide a coefficient of thermal
expansion similar to that of concrete for long-term durability. Such nosings and polymer concretes
shall only be used where use of cementitious products is not possible.
The use of fibreglass-reinforced concrete and slurry-infiltrated fibre concrete is still in experimental
stages and these products shall not be used at this time.

4.2 Asphaltic Plug
Asphaltic plug type joints shall be designed in accordance with the supplier’s technical literature and
specifications.
Asphaltic plug type joints shall be supplied and installed by RTA accepted suppliers, because the
quality of the joint depends on the material used and method of installation.

4.3 Bonded Metal-Elastomer
This type of joint shall be installed as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Anchorage bolts will need
re-tightening periodically to compensate for creep of the elastomer and other loosening effects. It
may be necessary to use adhesive sealants and to jack segmental panels together during installation
to minimize leakage.

4.4 Metal Fingers Bonded to Elastomer
The male plate shall be installed with the fingers pointing in the direction of traffic to minimise
loading of the plate and to reduce the risk of traffic snagging and lifting the male finger plate.
This type of joint shall be installed as per the manufacturer’s instructions. The joint shall be provided
with safety screws initially mandated by BTD1998/04 in accordance with Clause 2.4 of this
document. The anchor bolts may need re-tightening periodically to compensate for effects causing
loosening. It may be necessary to use adhesive sealants and to jack segmental panels together during
installation to minimize leakage.

4.5 Elastomeric Compression Seals
Compression seals should be continuous and installed up the parapets or kerbs high enough to
prevent water spilling over the seal ends. This joint should not be used for joints skewed more than
20 degrees.
Metal protection armour should be used to protect the joint and concrete edges in accordance with
AS 5100.4. Surfaces wider than 200 mm shall be provided with an anti-skid treatment if exposed to
vehicular traffic. The armouring shall be installed with uniform spacing along the joint gap.
It is good practice to measure the size of the joint gap opening and bridge temperature and estimate
the probable gap width at installation between the armouring before ordering the seal to ensure the
correct size and depth seal is ordered for the actual joint gap and depth which may be at variance
from those specified on the Drawings.
For optimum performance, the seal should remain in compression during its service life. This is
achieved by selecting the proper size compression seal taking into account all joint movements
including concrete creep and shrinkage and actual gap widths and depths. Compression seals should
be proportioned in a working range of 40 percent to 85 percent of uncompressed width in
accordance with the manufacture’s specifications to ensure positive contact against the deck joint gap

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Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance BTD2008/10

faces. It can be difficult to ensure that the seal adheres to the sides of wide joint gaps for the life of
the bridge, with this possible only if the seal is supplied and installed in strict conformity with
RTA B310.
Compression seals should be set below deck level to prevent protrusion above the roadway surface
when fully compressed.
Correct tools should be used during installation to prevent damage. Compression seals should be
set at a uniform depth without excessive longitudinal stretching by using an installing machine or
other appropriate tools.
Elastomeric compression seals manufactured from ozone-sensitive neoprene compositions shall not
be used as they lose resilience and harden after several years of service, this phenomenon being
named compression set. The loss of elasticity leads to the seal pulling away from the sides of the
joint gap opening up the joint to water penetration and choking with debris.
Forming a joint gap narrower than the design width and saw cutting immediately prior to installation
of the compression seal would minimize joint width error and maximize joint performance, but this
technique cannot be used for new bridges as AS 5100.4 requires metal protection armour to be
provided for compression seal joints to protect concrete edges.

4.6 Cold Applied Sealant
Cold applied sealants shall have the following properties:
a. Be resistant to water, oil, salt, stone penetration, abrasion and environmental effects.
b. Adhere to concrete and metal.
c. Have the ability to retain the original joint shape.
d. Resist unacceptable softening at high service temperatures.
e. Not harden or become unacceptably brittle at low service temperatures.
f. Resist flow due to gravity.
g. Deform to accommodate the design movements.
h. Not internally rupture or fail in cohesion.
i. Not contain substances that are harmful to road users, maintenance workers, metal protection
armour, deck materials or the environment.
In the case of sealants, the manufacturer’s installation specifications should always be followed and if
possible, the installation should be performed by the manufacturer’s representative or under the
representative’s supervision.
The joint design should be checked using field measured joint widths and temperatures.
Generally, sealants adhere better to concrete than to steel. Extra caution should be taken when
selecting a sealant for metal protection armoured joints.
Sealants should have the specified shape factor, this being the ratio of width to depth, of
approximately 2 to ensure adequate bond and strain capability. Where this is not possible, a shape
factor between 1 and 2 is permitted by RTA B312. The selection of sealants should be based on
sealant strain capacity at high and low temperatures and on predicted or measured joint openings
and movements, whichever is the greatest.
Sealants for concrete deck joints should have a minimum depth of 10 mm and a minimum installation
width of 15 mm. Maximum installation widths vary with the type of sealant used. Minimum shape
factor requirements may need to be waived to accommodate joints with small gaps as the full strain
capability of the sealant is not utilised in such joints.
Mastics, thermoplastics, and solvent-release thermosetting sealants can be used in joint openings up
to 38 mm wide with allowable movements up to 6 mm.
Chemically-cured thermosetting sealants can accommodate up to 42 mm movement range and can
be used in joint openings up to 85 mm ULS wide.

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BTD2008/10 Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance

Two-component sealants shall be mixed thoroughly, usually have a limited working (pot) life after
mixing and cure faster on hot days. Joint sealants should only be installed if the bridge deck
temperature is between 5°C and 30°C.
Sealants should not be installed before primers are dry and should never be applied to a joint that is
damp or wet. Sealants should be tooled to ensure that the sealant is adequately pressed against the
joint gap faces to the correct depth and that all air voids are removed. Curing compounds should
not be allowed to contaminate the joint faces.
Backer rods should be soft and flexible, not adhere to or react with the sealant and not absorb
water. They should compress without expelling the sealant when the deck expands and recover to
retain contact with the bottom joint face when the joint opens. Backer rods shall be installed at the
correct depth without twisting and contaminating the cleaned joint faces above. Uncompressed
backer rods should have at least a 25 percent greater width than the maximum joint opening to
ensure compression between the concrete joint gap faces at all times.
When required, joint sawing should be performed to the specified depth and width after the
concrete has hardened. Early sawing of fresh hardened concrete can result in spalling of the edges
and plucking of the aggregate. Late sawing can cause random cracking.
The concrete surface should be prepared by grit blasting free of all original adhesives or sealants, tar
and asphalt, discolorations, stains and any other contaminants to expose clean concrete surfaces.
Any blasting grit should be removed from the vicinity of the joint prior to installation of the sealant.

4.7 Fabricated Steel Fingerplates
Fingerplate joints have little capacity for accommodating differential deflection, rotation, or
settlement across the joint and should not be used if significant movements from these effects are
expected. The side of the joint that is attached to the superstructure is subject to small rotations
relative to the other side of the joint due to flexure of the deck under thermal and traffic effects that
is magnified at the tips of the fingers due to their length. This relative displacement can cause the
tips of opposing fingers to be displaced vertically relative to the other, causing increased impact loads
on the joint and possible tyre damage in extreme cases. The tips of the fingers should always have a
bevel larger than the calculated displacement.
The following safety related requirements in AS 5100.4 apply:
a. The maximum opening between adjacent fingers on the same side of the joint shall be 50 mm.
Further consideration is required for bicycles travelling over longitudinal slots.
b. AS 5100.4 specifies that the minimum overlap of the fingers be 15 mm for the worst combination
of movements. This occurs at the lowest temperature after all concrete creep and shrinkage has
taken place.
c. AS 5100.4 does not specify a minimum joint opening in the longitudinal direction, but this should
be taken as zero. To ensure the joint does not close up at high temperatures, some designers
specify a minimum permanent opening.
d. Road shoulders should be provided with sliding plate joints when pedestrian use is anticipated.

Fingerplates should have adequate stiffness to prevent excessive vibration and have sufficient flexural
capacity to prevent bending and fatigue failures.

The natural frequencies of the fingers should be checked to ensure that wheel loads at signposted
traffic speed do not produce undesirable high frequency noise from the fingers acting like tuning
forks. The anchoring of the joint to the concrete may be sufficient to dampen such vibrations.

Fingers should be aligned at the direction of movement to avoid exerting excessive forces on
opposing fingers.

Anchorages shall have sufficient tensile and shear strength to resist loads from heavy traffic including
impact, and sufficient bolt tension so that the load in the bolts does not change under the design ULS
traffic load, to prevent fatigue failures of the anchorages.

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Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance BTD2008/10

Fingerplate joints for new bridges shall have stainless steel drainage troughs with cross-falls of at least
8 %. If possible, greater cross-falls should be provided to prevent debris accumulation. Use stainless
steel bolts, nuts and washers. If elastomeric materials are used as drainage troughs for joint
rehabilitation works, reinforced high-durometer hardness elastomers with properties similar to
conveyor belts should be selected. Regular maintenance and cleaning of troughs is essential.

4.8 Modular
Modular joints should not generate excessive noise. They shall be watertight and resist without
damage braking or other horizontal forces applied directly to the joint as well the design loads
specified in AS 5100.4 and RTA B316.
The maximum roadway surface gap of 85 mm ULS specified in AS 5100.4 between the transverse
beams shall not be exceeded. Joint components should comply with the fatigue test specification of
NCHRP 402 or recognized equivalent, in accordance with RTA B316.
Manufacturers shall be responsible for both supply and installation and shall provide a guarantee or
warranty on the serviceability of the joint for a minimum period of five years after installation.

4.9 Strip Seal
Strip seals should not be used on bridges with skews greater than 30 degrees. Wherever possible,
glands should be inserted in a continuous length across the width of the bridge deck from parapet to
parapet or kerb to kerb to improve the watertightness of the joint. No field splices of strip seals
should be permitted, as this weakens the gland, unless there is no alternative. Mechanical locking
within the retainer should be sufficient to hold seal in place without use of bonding agents. Lubricant
adhesives are usually used to aid seal installation.
Strip seals require a minimum installation width measured normal to the joint, which shall be
accounted for during the joint design.
Even though manufacturers claim a large movement capacity for strip seal joints, the maximum
allowable width is 85 mm ULS, in accordance with AS 5100.4. This requirement reduces the effects
of traffic impact loads, improves ride and reduces hazards to two-wheeled traffic and stock on
hooves.
Glands can collect incompressible debris which may lead to tearing, puncturing or pulling out under
passing traffic or from joint movements. As the joint closes up with incompressible debris wedged in
the gland crevice, this can cause glands to rupture. Traffic wheel loads transferred to glands through
built up debris may tear the gland or pull it out from the metal retainers. To avoid this situation on
roads with gravel or other debris, use of a flush internally stiffened gland is preferred over a draped
single layer gland. During design, specification of too large a size gland on the Drawings will result in
early dirt entrapment in draped glands in service. Regular cleaning will increase joint life.
Bent or mitred retainers shall be used at kerb and traffic barrier upturns.
Glands should be protected from damage from high heeled shoes in pedestrian traffic by using a
sliding plate joint instead.
Anchorages shall be designed to resist all static and dynamic loads (including impact). The
anchorages shall be thoroughly bonded to the concrete and the concrete shall be thoroughly
consolidated without entrapped air voids. The metal retainers shall have regularly spaced vent holes
to allow air to escape, unless venting is provided by the anchor bolt holes.

4.10 Other
Other types of joints could be permitted for specific sites if the performance of these joints is
superior for the governing constraints at the site to that of RTA approved joints, following the
approval of the Senior Bridge Engineer (Policy & Specifications) Ph: (02) 8837 0850
Fax: (02) 8837 0054 after submission of joint details and design calculations.
The joint, transition strips and the adjacent deck surfaces should be on the same grade to provide
good ride quality.

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BTD2008/10 Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance

Traffic barriers or kerbs passing over the joint should be slotted so that full joint depth and
continuity can be maintained. Slotted kerbs or barriers will need to be checked for conformity to
AS 5100.
The substrate should be thoroughly dried with all loose material removed before installation of joint.
The bottom of the joint gap should be sealed or covered to prevent intrusion of construction debris
into the joint gap.
Proven installation methods should be used.

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Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance BTD2008/10

5 Assessment of Joint Condition and Ratings
5.1 General
The bridge joint assessment process shall comprise field inspections by RTA Regional staff of the
joint and reporting on the items listed on the joint inspection proforma downloadable from the
RTA’s Bridge Joint Assessment (BJA) module that has been developed by RTA Bridge Engineering in
partnership with IT Applications. The BJA module is accessible from within the Bridge Information
System (BIS)
Inspection data shall then be entered into the BJA module by Regional staff.
The inspection data are used within the BJA module to rate the condition and performance of
inspected joints.

5.2 Assessment Details
Within the BJA module in the BIS, the assessment and rating of bridge deck joints uses the field
inspection reports for the items listed on the inspection proforma. These items are divided into two
groups, one group for assessing severity of damage to the joint, the other group for assessing joint
condition.
The eleven inspection items related to the severity of damage to the joint are:
1. Damage to adjacent deck/slab;
2. Damage to nosing/transition strip;
3. Damage to retainer/protection angles;
4. Seal splitting/puncture/tracking/flow;
5. Joint debonding from blockout;
6. Noise;
7. Joint dislodgment/seal sticking out;
8. Misalignment/twisting/jamming;
9. Debris in joint;
10. Leakage; and
11. Wear to anti-skid surfaces of joint.
The seven inspection items are used for assessing the condition of the joint. Apart from the bridge
inspector’s overall assessment of the joint, the six remaining items are:
1. Bolting/anchorage;
2. Riding quality;
3. Joint movement capability;
4. Kerbs;
5. Members underneath; and
6. Protective coating.
The items for severity of damage shall be reported by the bridge inspector on a scale of 1–4 where
these numbers indicate respectively no or minor defect, moderate, high, and severe.
The items for condition shall be reported as good, satisfactory, poor or failed.
The bridge inspector’s assessment of the overall joint condition is required as a check that the
outcome of the BJA module’s joint condition assessment and ratings accounting for the above
individual inspection items tallies with that of the inspector’s, which is given an increased weighting
during the rating compared to the other items.

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BTD2008/10 Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance

When reporting the overall condition of a specific inspected joint, the report on the overall
condition item should be carefully considered, as the inspector’s assessment significantly affects the
condition and performance rating of the joint.

5.3 Condition Rating
The condition rating of the joint is also evaluated by the BJA module using all of the items reported.
The overall joint condition as assessed by the inspectors is given a higher weighting as opposed to
the other items which have been given equal weightings.

5.4 Performance Rating
Based on the inspector’s inspection report for these items, the BJA module rates the performance of
the joint. The overall accuracy of the rating is improved by reporting on as many as possible of items
listed on the inspection proforma.
The performance rating uses all of the reported damage items and all of the reported condition
items. More details of the calculations done within the BJA module are available in the report
“Inspections of RTA Bridge Deck Joints up to August 2007” and in the BJA module’s “User Guide”.

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Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance BTD2008/10

6 Monitoring, Maintenance and Rehabilitation
6.1 General
Once a joint has been assessed by RTA’s Regional Bridge Maintenance Planner, using the BJA
module’s ratings as appropriate, as being in need of attention, the available options are to
immediately start maintenance or rehabilitation work or to monitor the joint’s behaviour and its
overall effects on the bridge and hazard to road users when deciding on the course of action to be
taken.
Do not permit spray seals or asphalt to be overlaid on top of any bridge deck joints, as this will cause
damage to the joint, inhibit its performance and cause ride and later bridge maintenance problems.
Overlays of bridge decks should always only be undertaken with the concurrence of the Regional
Bridge Maintenance Planner in consultation with RTA Bridge Engineering.

6.2 Monitoring
Monitoring a joint can be undertaken to better understand the condition of the joint and severity of
the damage and to evaluate options before any rehabilitation work is done. Some damaged joints
may require immediate attention or rehabilitation while others can continue to function satisfactorily
if the damage is being aggravated only slowly by traffic. The latter joints can be left untouched if the
behaviour of the joint is satisfactory for the time being. Monitoring will assist programming of joint
works and assessment of functionality of the joint. Rehabilitation works can be delayed while
concentrating on more critical projects. However, the severity of damage and its progression shall
be evaluated to prevent any major damage to the joints or creating safety issues for road users. If
safety issues are prominent, immediate action shall be taken to rectify them.
Joint areas under wheel lines in particular shall be constantly monitored for joint wear and damage.
Monitoring methods and tools should be carefully selected to provide ample warning about any
impending failures or to provide sufficient information to make right decisions.
Risk management techniques can be applied to aid decision making.

6.3 Maintenance of Joints
Adequate maintenance of bridge deck joints ensures the safety of the travelling public, maintains the
load carrying capacity of the bridge and its serviceability and performance at an acceptable level and
minimizes the costs of repairs and bridge life cycle cost.
Joint maintenance is carried out to minimize the risk of damage by rectifying possible causes.
Regular inspections of joints should be conducted to identify maintenance or rehabilitation needs and
preventive measures required to improve the quality of the joint.
Joints shall be maintained starting from their installation when the bridge is new and shall continue
throughout the whole life of the bridge, to prevent the need for major expensive rehabilitation
works.
Regular maintenance of joints shall be ongoing to avoid serious consequences.
Maintenance can comprise cleaning and washing of scuppers and joints, removing debris, growth and
silt, which could be undertaken by road patrols or maintenance crews using simple equipment.
Maintenance can also include replacing and repairing parts of the joints, this work being classified as
rehabilitation.
Leaking of water through the joint should be arrested as early as possible to control the damage
possible to other bridge components and elements before this becomes too late.
Some joint type specific maintenance actions are given below.

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BTD2008/10 Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance

6.3.1 Asphaltic Plug
If the road surface adjacent to a failed joint deteriorates, the deteriorated surfacing and the joint
should be replaced to improve ride quality and overall durability.
Any cracked or shoved sections of joint shall be replaced as soon as practicable, to minimise water
damage and traffic hazards, respectively. Maintenance may also include filling of cracks, and sealing of
the interface between joint and asphalt and the like.

6.3.2 Elastomeric Compression Seal
The condition of the metal protection armour should be inspected for corrosion periodically if the
protective coating fails, and the protection renewed if required. Slippery surfaces shall be made skid-
resistant, as appropriate to the site. Clear the joint gap of debris, and push protruding seals back.

6.3.3 Sealant
Sealants should be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions when the ambient
temperature is close to expected average temperature in spring or autumn or at times of day when
the temperature is stable or increasing, to reduce the strain imposed on the sealant to improve
sealant performance.

6.3.4 Fingerplate
Drainage troughs should be cleaned at least once a year, or more often as required.
Damaged fingers shall be repaired.
The joint shall be kept free of corrosion.
Any loose nuts or screws should be investigated and remedial action taken urgently, as loose nuts or
screws will quickly result in fatigue failure of the anchor bolts and uplift of the fingerplates under
traffic.

6.3.5 Modular
Modular joints shall be maintained in accordance with the maintenance manual supplied with the joint
in accordance with RTA B316.
Where no maintenance manual exists, queries regarding joint condition and appropriate actions to
be taken should be referred to RTA Bridge Engineering for specialist advice.

6.3.6 Strip Seal
Clear the joint gap and gland of debris and retighten loose nuts/bolts.
Failed glands can be patched using a new length of gland if partial repairs are necessary.
Failed joints shall be replaced with new strip seal joints designed in accordance with this policy
document.

6.4 Joint Rehabilitation
Joint rehabilitation in RTA is triggered by systematic inspections of bridges that are undertaken
approximately every two years.
Rehabilitation and repairs are necessitated by joint failures arising from wear and tear, use of
inappropriate materials, poor installation, heavy and repetitive wheel loads, deterioration or decay of
materials, changes in bridge articulation, underestimations of concrete creep and shrinkage, or a
combination of these effects. Deterioration of steel elements can also be due to corrosion, fatigue,
welding cracks and imperfections, buckling, loose connections, or failure of corrosion protection
systems.
The BJA module’s joint inspection proformas, records and ratings can assist in identifying any joint
rehabilitation works required.

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Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance BTD2008/10

Any joint requiring corrective action shall be checked to assess whether a replacement or a repair is
necessary.
If joint replacement is required, an acceptable joint type shall be identified that can cater for the
required movement range. Sometimes a joint with less movement capacity than the original joint can
be used if the bulk of concrete creep and shrinkage movements has occurred.
The remaining bridge life and difficulties in placing anchors between existing steel reinforcement shall
be considered during the design of rehabilitation works. Works-As-Executed drawings are essential,
with field surveys using cover meters or ground radar possibly being required to determine
reinforcing bar locations.
Wherever possible and depending on the site, a failed joint shall be fully replaced with a new joint
conforming to AS 5100.4 and RTA’s requirements including those of this policy, as it is difficult to
completely seal interfaces between existing and new joints where partial replacement is undertaken.

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BTD2008/10 Bridge Deck Joint Selection, Design, Installation and Maintenance

7 Summary
This RTA policy document provides information and requirements for commonly used bridge deck
joints in RTA bridges or those bridges that will become property of RTA.
Further use of some existing types of joints has been discontinued with alternatives identified and
discussed.
The selection of suitable joints for new and existing bridges depends mainly on daily and seasonal
temperature variations and bridge articulation.
The severity of conditions such as the number of heavy vehicles traversing the joint, skew,
environment and climate all need to be considered in design.
Preventing water leaking through expansion joints is important to avoid damage to the remainder of
the bridge, especially the bearings.
Bridge deck joint performance depends on the quality of the joint materials, the skills of the bridge
design engineer, the use of specialist installation contractors, the provision of robust anchorage
systems and the establishment of effective maintenance programs.
This RTA policy document provides information for the selection, installation, assessment and
maintenance of joints and specifies that joints be:
• Selected appropriate to the site;
• RTA approved types where possible;
• Designed in accordance with AS 5100.4, the relevant RTA specification and this policy
document;
• Installed in accordance with the joint manufacturer’s instructions;
• Maintained consistently starting from installation;
• Inspected periodically with priority of maintenance and rehabilitation works dictated by need;
• Inspected using the inspection form downloaded from the BJA module in the BIS; and
• Assessed regularly in accordance with the defined criteria within the BJA module and
subsequent actions taken using risk management techniques where appropriate.

-------------------------- 00 0 0 0 0 --------------------------

36 36
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2008/09

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2008/09
LINK SLABS FOR PRECAST PRETENSIONED CONCRETE GIRDER BRIDGES

Background

Clause 5 of AS 5100.4 specifies that the number of deck joints in a bridge shall be minimised. This
provides optimal riding quality on the bridge and minimises maintenance related to deck joints. On
bridges with superstructures comprising simply supported precast pretensioned concrete girders (e.g.
super –T girders or I-girders) and cast-in-situ reinforced concrete deck slabs the continuity of the deck is
achieved using link slabs. Link slabs are normally cast after casting of the deck slab in both adjacent spans.

Information and Bridge Technical Direction

Bridge decks of all new precast pretensioned girder type bridges for RTA and those that will become the
property of RTA must be made continuous between abutments using link slabs with deck joints located
at the bridge abutments only. However, if the length of the bridge deck exceeds six spans or 200 m,
whichever is longer, intermediate expansion joints may be provided.

A longitudinal section through a typical link slab on PSC Super-T girder bridges is detailed on Figure 1
attached. The required lengths of the link slab and debonding shall be determined by the designer.
Minimum lengths are specified on Figure 1. The thickness of the deck slab at piers varies, but shall be not
less than 180 mm.

The load effects that will determine the required area of longitudinal reinforcement in link slabs include
local bending moment, rotation and tension. The area of longitudinal reinforcement should be designed
conservatively to ensure well distributed fine cracks in the link slab. Although the skew angle of Super-T
girders is limited to 35 degrees, the skew may also influence the area of reinforcement required. The
amount of reinforcement may need to be increased as the reinforcement may not be orientated in the
same direction as the bending moments. However, the minimum longitudinal reinforcement in link slabs
shall be not less than Grade D500N16 reinforcing bars at 75 mm spacings in the top layer and Grade
D500N16 reinforcing bars at 75 mm spacings in the bottom layer. The minimum transverse
reinforcement in link labs shall be not less than Grade D500N16 reinforcing bars at 150 mm spacings in
both top and bottom layers. The top and bottom reinforcing bars should be staggered to provide
optimal space for concrete placing and compaction.

The nominal reinforcing bar concrete cover shall be determined from Section 4 of AS 5100.5 as
appropriate for the exposure classification and concrete strength. Cover shall not be reduced despite the
presence of bituminous surfacings or waterproof membranes.

In addition to the lengths of the link slabs, length of debonding and areas of longitudinal and transverse
reinforcement, the length of laps and deck pouring sequence shall be specified on the drawings. The
required delay between the casting of the deck slabs and the link slab shall be specified.

Contact: Joe Canceri
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0805
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2008/09

1 of 3
References: RTA Standard Bridge Drawings with detailing of Super-T girders include the
following:
RTAB033 Standardisation of Super-T Girder Sections
RTAB033A to RTA033F Open Flange Super-T girders – Reinforcement.

Effective date: 25/02/2008
Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Joe Canceri
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0805
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2008/09

2 of 3
Contact: Joe Canceri
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0805
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2008/09

3 of 3
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2008/08

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2008/08
PROVISION OF CONDUITS IN BRIDGE TRAFFIC BARRIERS

Background

Provision of conduits in bridge traffic barriers for future electrical or telecommunication cables on new
bridges on major roads has been specified in several Design and Construct Contracts. This Bridge
Technical Direction extends the practice to all new RTA bridges, to existing bridges where new concrete
traffic barriers are provided, and to all bridges that will become the property of RTA.

Information and Bridge Technical Direction

Concrete elements of bridge traffic barriers must contain a minimum of one 100 mm diameter UPVC
conduit and suitable fittings in addition to any conduits that may be provided for utilities or lighting at the
time of construction of the bridge.

At bridge sites where there are twin bridges such additional conduits need only to be provided in the
outside parapet (i.e. the parapet located furthest from the median) of each bridge or a single bridge if an
existing bridge is being duplicated.

References: Material of the conduits and fittings shall conform to BPC2006/05.

Effective date: 25/02/2008
Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Joe Canceri
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0805
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2008/08

1 of 1
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2008/07

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2008/07
DESIGN OF BRIDGE SUPPORTS FOR COLLISION LOAD FROM ROAD
TRAFFIC

Background

When assessing the need for protection of piers or columns for collision loads from road traffic, risk
assessment and determination of protective measures carried out in accordance with Clauses 11.1 and
11.2 of AS 5100.1 may result in one of the following:

1. No protection is required if the clearance of the piers or columns from road traffic exceeds the
required minimum distance specified in the RTA Road Design Guide; or
2. Protection of the bridge piers or columns is required.

Road safety barriers may be provided to protect occupants of errant vehicles in the vicinity of bridge
supports in accordance with the following documents:
ƒ RTA Road Design Guide, and draft technical direction “Bridge Pier Protection” which can be
obtained from RTA Road Design Policy & Standards Manager, Tel no. (02) 8837 0985; and
ƒ AS/NZS 2845.

However, as errant vehicles may penetrate road safety barriers, especially at high impact angles, these
barriers should be disregarded when assessing the need for protection of the bridge supports from
collision.

Information and Bridge Technical Direction

Where mandated by the RTA Road Design Guide and Clauses 11.1 and 11.2 of AS 5100.1, either:
A. Provide protection to the bridge piers or columns additional to any road safety barriers; or

B. Design the bridge piers or columns for collision loads.

The design loads for both alternatives shall be in accordance with Clauses 10.1 and 10.2 of AS 5100.2.

If the piers or columns of a bridge have been designed for collision loads, the relevant design loads shall
be provided on the cover sheet of the bridge drawings in accordance with Clause 1.2 (g) of AS 5100.2.

If protection of piers or columns has been provided, this will be essential for the structural integrity of the
bridge. The type, location and required length of the protection shall be detailed on the bridge drawings,
preferably on the General Arrangement. In addition, a note shall be added to the effect that the pier or

Contact: Joe Canceri
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0805
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2008/07
1 of 2
column protection is provided for protection from road traffic collision loads, that it shall not be
removed and that it must be replaced if damaged and properly maintained at all times.

Effective date: 25/02/2008
Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Joe Canceri
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0805
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2008/07
2 of 2
m
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2008/06

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2008/06
JOINTS IN PRECAST CONCRETE BARRIER ELEMENTS ON A GRADE
Background

It has been long standing RTA practice to limit the road grade for which barrier railing posts may be
perpendicular to the top of the concrete parapet. The existing limits have been set on the basis of
aesthetics. For consistency, this Bridge Technical Direction extends the principles developed for barrier
railing posts to joints in precast concrete elements of barriers.
Information

Clause 26.3.1 of the RTA Structural and Detailing Manual limits to 4% the maximum grade of the bridge
deck on which the barrier railing posts may be perpendicular to the deck. Posts perpendicular to the
deck on deck grades exceeding 4% are visually unacceptable.
Bridge Technical Direction

In all cases where the grade of the structure does not exceed 4%, joints between any precast elements
of traffic or pedestrian barriers that are visible from either side of the barrier shall be perpendicular to
the top of the concrete parapet, footway surface or deck surface, as appropriate.

Where the grade of the structure exceeds 4% at any location, joints between precast elements shall be
vertical for the full length of the bridge deck.

These requirements apply irrespective of whether there are barrier railing posts attached to the top of
the concrete parapet or not.

Effective date: 25/02/2008
Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Joe Canceri
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0805
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2008/06

1 of 1
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2008/05

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2008/05
SPLICING OF STEEL GIRDERS USING BOLTS

Background
It has been long standing RTA practice not to permit bolted connections for splicing of principal steel
bridge members, so that the external faces of steel members are flat and smooth to maximise the life of
the protective coating system.

Information
Experience with older steel bridges indicates that deterioration of the paint system at bolts occurs earlier
than the deterioration of the paint system on the smooth surfaces away from the bolts. In order to
extend the periods between re-painting of steel bridges, RTA did not permit bolted splices of principal
steel members.
Welding of the segments that make up the principal members is the standard method of connection
used by RTA although cast-in-place reinforced concrete connections have also been used, particularly for
splicing of steel trough girders.

Bridge Technical Direction
Bolted splices of principal steel members on RTA bridges and on bridges that will become the property
of RTA shall not be used except in locations with an exposure classification A as defined in Clause 4.3 of
AS 5100.5.
RTA may consider bolting as means of connecting steel members in exceptional circumstances where
welding on site cannot be carried out safely and/or where welding would require unacceptable
restrictions to traffic, and there is no practical alternative. Any proposed use of bolted splices of principal
steel bridge members shall be submitted in writing to RTA for consideration.

Effective date: 25/02/2008
Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Mark Bennett
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2008/05

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Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2008/03

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2008/03
USE OF PROFILED STEEL SHEETING IN BRIDGES AND MINOR
STRUCTURES

Background

This Bridge Technical Direction is about the use of proprietary profiled steel sheeting for permanent
formwork in bridge structures designed in accordance with AS 5100 Bridge Design. It also covers the use
of profiled steel sheeting for permanent formwork or formwork acting compositely with concrete slabs
for minor structures designed in accordance with AS 3600 Concrete Structures.

Profiled steel sheeting is used extensively for the construction of floor slabs in interior environments in
enclosed buildings with an expected design life of 40-60 years. Bridges are designed for a design life of
100 years. Profiled steel sheeting used in bridges will also be subject to the more aggressive exposure
conditions in exposed exterior environments.

Information and Bridge Technical Direction

Proprietary profiled steel sheeting is supplied for use either as permanent formwork and reinforcement
acting compositely with a concrete slab (referred to as participating permanent formwork in Clause 6.1.5
of AS 5100.6) or as permanent formwork only (non-participating permanent formwork).

The typical corrosion protection provided for the steel sheeting is claimed in manufacturers’ literature to
satisfy durability requirements specified by AS 3600 for exposure classifications A1, A2 and B1.

Based on the claimed durability of profiled steel sheeting, its use in bridges and minor structures shall be
as follows:

1. Because the claimed design life of profiled steel sheeting is significantly less than the 100 years
for bridges required by AS 5100 Bridge Design, profiled steel sheeting shall only be used as non-
participating permanent formwork. However, profiled steel sheeting may be used as participating
permanent formwork for minor concrete structures designed in accordance with AS 3600
Concrete Structures for a design life of 40 – 60 years.

2. Use of profiled steel sheeting shall be limited to interior and above ground exterior
environments in exposure classifications A and B1 for bridges designed in accordance with
AS 5100 and A1, A2 and B1 for other structures designed in accordance with AS 3600.

3. Direct contact between the profiled steel sheeting and supporting steel members is only
permitted in exposure classification A. In exposure classification B1, approved durable insulation
material shall be inserted between the profiled steel sheeting and supporting steel members.

4. The base metal of the profiled steel sheeting shall be a minimum 1.0 mm thick.

5. The protective zinc coating shall be at least Class Z450 to AS 1397.

Contact: Mark Bennett
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2008/03

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6. As the durability of the protective coating may be less than the bridge design life, the exposed
surface of the profiled steel sheeting may require painting. To enable painting of exposed
surfaces, the following shall apply:

• The exposed surface of the profiled steel sheeting shall be smooth with no deep
recesses and gaps;

• Profiled steel sheeting shall not be used over carriageways of roads where repainting
would require closure of any traffic lane or any restriction on speed or height of
vehicles. As a general rule, profiled steel sheeting shall not be used over freeways,
motorways, highways or multi-lane arterial roads. However, use of profiled steel
sheeting over such roads may be considered by the Authority at bridge sites where the
vertical clearance is significantly in excess of that required for traffic and for provision of
temporary scaffolding for painting. Use of profiled steel sheeting over any other roads
may be considered by the Authority based on repainting requirements.

7. Use of profiled steel sheeting shall be approved in writing by the Authority prior to
commencement of design.

Effective date: 25/02/2008

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of RTA Standard Bridge Drawings
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Mark Bennett
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2008/03

2 of 2
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2008/02

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2008/02
ACCESS FOR INSPECTION, MONITORING AND REPAIR OR
REPLACEMENT OF BRIDGE COMPONENTS

Background

Recent bridge maintenance works have highlighted deficiencies in previous designs relating to the
provision of adequate access for inspection, monitoring and repair or replacement of bridge components,
in particular bearings.

The current OH&S regulatory and legal liability environments have made such works more demanding
and costly than in prior years, resulting in some instances very expensive preparatory works to provide
safe access prior to replacing such bridge components.

Clause 15 of AS 5100.1 makes provision of access for inspection and maintenance mandatory.

Information

Underbridge inspection units can be assumed, depending on bridge configuration and ground/water
levels, to provide safe access for inspection and monitoring, but not for repair or replacement of bridge
components.

Bridge Technical Direction

Where access from the ground is not possible without construction of scaffolding, platforms and the like,
to facilitate future inspection, monitoring and repair or replacement of bridge components, bridge
designs shall make provision for safe access to each separate bridge component without the need to
disrupt or stop traffic travelling in the marked traffic lanes of the carriageway of the bridge or under the
bridge.

Provisions for access may be permanent, non-permanent or a combination of the two.

Permanent access shall be required to the underside of modular expansion joints or joints that require
access from below for removal or replacement e.g. proprietary finger plate type joints. Such access will
typically be required at abutments and at the expansion joints, except under cantilevered deck slabs
where provisions for attachment of scaffolding shall be provided.

Permanent safe access to spill-through abutments shall include the provision of steps on the
embankment at the front face of the abutment, unless alternative safe means of access are provided. A
level berm at least 750 mm wide shall be provided at the front face of the abutment. No berms need be
provided at abutments of bridges with elastomeric strip or unreinforced pad bearings that support
prestressed concrete plank superstructures as these bearings have an expected life in excess of 100
years.

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2008/02

1 of 2
Where permanent access is not provided, provisions shall be made to provide non-permanent access to
all bridge components, except elastomeric strip and unreinforced pad bearings. Such non-permanent
access shall be of width of at least 750 mm, railing height of at least 1200 mm and capacity to support
5 kPa live load, unless otherwise approved by the Principal Bridge Engineer.

A combination of permanent and non-permanent access will typically be applicable for access to
bearings. Non-permanent access may comprise temporary scaffolding to provide access to the tops of
piers. Permanent access may comprise the design of the substructure and superstructure members and
elements to accommodate access additional to the temporary works. The minimum area of openings in
diaphragms of box girder bridges provided for permanent access for inspection must be 442,000 mm2
with the minimum horizontal dimension not less than 500 mm and minimum vertical dimension not less
than 750 mm.

The detailed design must include drawings of all components of permanent accesses and all provisions
for attachment of non-permanent accesses, such as embedded ferrules, voids for stressbars for
attachment of scaffolding, for safety anchorages for harnesses at tops of piers, etc. The detailed design
must consider all requirements for access for maintenance works, including provision of lighting, power,
ventilation, permanent lugs above access holes in box girder bridges to facilitate movement of materials,
and for work in confined spaces, etc.

The detailed design of provisions for non-permanent access is not required, but the design drawings
must include the concept for the non-permanent access.

The proposed provisions for permanent and non-permanent access must be included in the bridge
proposal sketches and RTA Form 62.

Designers are advised that some of the measures to improve maintenance access also provide easier
access to non-authorised persons. This may require compromises and trade offs in the design, e.g. whilst
it may be desirable for maintenance purposes to locate access holes in box girder bridges in the most
accessible locations close to the ground, other locations may be preferable for increased bridge security;
maintenance crew may use hydraulic platforms or hoists to gain access. Such accesses must be heavy
duty and vandal proof, i.e. locks in access covers must be secure against bolt cutters.

All steel components that cannot be regularly inspected because of lack of access, such as attachments
for pile cap skirts and fascia panels, dowels, and the like shall be of stainless steel. The stainless steel type
and grade shall be appropriate for the governing exposure.

Effective date: 18/02/2008

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of RTA Standard Bridge Drawings
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2008/02

2 of 2
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2008/01

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2008/01
CHANGES TO STANDARD BRIDGE DRAWINGS
BRIDGE TRAFFIC BARRIER TERMINATION DETAILS

Background
AS 5100-2004 introduced a number of general and specific requirements for bridge traffic barrier
terminations, with various details having been used to date.

Information
RTA Standard Bridge Drawing Nos RTAB055 and RTAB056 have been developed detailing terminations
for the most common types of Regular and Medium Performance Level steel bridge traffic barrier cross
sections respectively. The RTA Standard Bridge Drawings Cover Sheet that reflects these changes is
issue 42 February 2008.
In developing the new standard bridge drawings the requirements of AS 5100 as well as road design and
aesthetic considerations have been taken into account.
It should be noted that road design requirements may require bridge traffic barriers to continue onto the
bridge approaches beyond the bridge abutments.
These and other RTA Standard Bridge Drawings are now available on the RTA Internet site at:
http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/doingbusinesswithus/designdocuments/bridge_drawings.html

Bridge Technical Direction
For Regular and Medium Performance Level steel bridge traffic barriers RTA Standard Bridge Drawing
Nos RTAB055 and RTAB056 shall be used for detailing the terminations.

References: RTA Standard Bridge Drawing Nos RTAB055, RTAB056 and the RTA Standard
Bridge Drawings Cover Sheet.

Effective date: 7/02/2008
Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer
DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Colyn Jones
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0803
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2008/01

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Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2007/13

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2007/13
DURABILITY OF STEEL PILES IN CONTACT WITH ACID SULFATE SOILS

Background
The rates of corrosion of unprotected steel piles are specified in Clause 9.4 of AS 5100.3 and in
Table 6.4 of AS 2159. Neither of these two Australian Standards include specific requirements for piles
in acid sulfate soils (ASS) or potential ASS.

Information
The following are the minimum corrosion allowances for unprotected steel piles and any other steel
structural members e.g. anchors, with a design life of 100 years in ASS and potential ASS related to the
estimated long term pH values from the bridge site investigations:

Minimum corrosion allowances on each steel surface

pH range Soil condition A Soil condition B

pH ≤ 4.0 Not permitted Not permitted

4.0 < pH ≤ 4.5 4.0 mm 3.0 mm

4.5 < pH ≤ 5.0 3.5 mm 2.75 mm

5.0 < pH ≤ 5.5 3.0 mm 2.5 mm

5.5 < pH ≤ 6.0 2.5 mm 2.0 mm

6.0 < pH ≤ 14 2.0 mm 2.0 mm

Soil conditions A and B are as defined in Table 6.3 of AS 2159 – Piling – Design and Installation. Soil
condition A applies to high permeability soils below groundwater level. Soil condition B applies to low
permeability soils or all soils above groundwater.

Where high sulfate levels exist in the soil, sulfate reducing bacteria may be present leading to
microbiologically induced corrosion. In such cases an appropriate additional corrosion allowance shall be
assumed in the design.

Bridge Technical Direction

In designs for RTA bridges or for bridges that will become the property of RTA, steel piles must not be
used in acid sulfate soils or potential acid sulfate soils where the measured or potential pH of the soil is ≤

Contact: Joe Canceri
Section: RTA Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0805
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2007/13

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4.0. In soils with measured or potential pH > 4.0 and sulphate levels less than 400 mg/l, the minimum
corrosion allowances above must be provided to each surface.

Effective date: 17/12/2007

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer
DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Joe Canceri
Section: RTA Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0805
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2007/13

2 of 2
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2007/12

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2007/12
DESIGN FOR REPLACEMENT OF BRIDGE BEARINGS

Background

Replacement of bridge bearings generally requires jacking up the superstructure to allow the bearings to
be either repaired (e.g. replacement of guide rails of pot type bearings) or removed and replaced.

Design for bearing replacement may affect the design and detailing of bridge superstructures and
substructures. This Bridge Technical Direction specifies the requirements and conditions for bearing
replacement that shall be incorporated in bridge designs and on the drawings.

Information

This Technical Direction deals with the design and detailing of bridge drawings for bearing replacement.
A separate Technical Direction, currently draft BPC2007D02, will detail the requirements for access for
inspecting, monitoring and repair or replacement of bridge components, including bearings.

Bridge Technical Direction

AS 5100.4 Bridge Design – Bearings and deck joints specifies that provisions shall be made to facilitate
removal and replacement of bridge bearings. The only types of bearings exempt from this requirement
are elastomeric strip and unreinforced pad bearings used with prestressed concrete plank bridge decks.
Refer also to CBE 98/8 Bridge Bearings – Design for Maintenance or Replacement.

The design of all bridges except those detailed in the previous paragraph shall provide for the jacking up
of the deck for replacement under traffic. The design parameters shall include, but not be limited, to the
following:

1. All traffic lanes on the bridge shall be open to traffic. Reductions to the width of the traffic lanes
is not permitted;

2. Shoulders may be closed to traffic;

3. The traffic speed on the bridge may be reduced to 40 km/h;

4. The number of design lanes shall be determined from the width of the carriageway between
the inside edges of shoulders;

5. The design traffic load shall be SM1600;

6. HLP loading need not be considered in the design for jacking up;

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: RTA Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2007/12

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7. Load factors, Accompanying Lane Factors and Dynamic Load Allowance shall be as specified in
AS5100.2;

8. Jacking points must be located on the tops of bridge abutments and piers;

9. The locations of jacking points and calculated jacking forces for both serviceability and ultimate
limit state loads shall be detailed on the drawings for each jacking point;

10. Each cross-girder (or diaphragm in case of box girders) must be jacked up uniformly. To meet
this requirement the following shall be provided on the drawings, i.e. “All jacks at each cross-
girder shall be hydraulically linked and have a control mechanism to ensure that the same
vertical displacements occur at each jacking point at all times during jacking up operations”.

All bridges designed for RTA and those that will become property of RTA shall incorporate provisions
for replacement of bearings under traffic.

The parameters and conditions detailed above constitute a separate load case and therefore must be
listed, except for Items 8 and 9, on the Cover Sheet of the drawings with the heading “Jacking of bridge
deck for bearing replacement”. Jacking points and forces, Items 8 and 9, shall be detailed on the relevant
substructure drawings.

Provisions for replacement of uplift bearings, when used, must be fully detailed on the bearing drawings.

Bridge bearings shall be designed to be replaced using lifts of not more than 10 mm. The bridge
superstructure shall be capable of accommodating the differential displacements associated with this 10
mm lift height, assuming that the deck may or may not be lifted at other bearing locations.

The conditions and parameters listed above represent minimum requirements. Some types of bridges
may require additional considerations or limitations such as limiting the vertical lifting of continuous
superstructures at supports, provisions for temporary fixity in the longitudinal or transverse directions
during the jacking up operation, etc, the requirements for which shall be fully detailed on the design
drawings.

Reference: CBE 98/8

Effective date: 17/12/2007

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer
DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: RTA Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2007/12

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Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2007/11

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2007/11
HORIZONTAL REINFORCEMENT FOR CRACK CONTROL IN WALLS AND
WALL TYPE PIERS

Background

It has been a long standing RTA Bridge Engineering practice to specify an increased area of horizontal
reinforcement in the lower parts of abutment walls and wall type piers where the wall is rigidly
connected to (and restrained by) a footing or a pile cap. Whilst Clause 11.6 of AS 5100.5 specifies
minimum requirements for horizontal (shrinkage) reinforcement, using a uniform distribution of the
horizontal reinforcement in the vertical direction does not fully recognise the need for better crack
control at the connection to the footings, pile caps or other members, particularly for long walls where
the effects of the differential shrinkage can be substantial.

Information

The minimum reinforcement for crack control in walls that are restrained by other members is specified
in AS 5100.5 Clause 11.6. Depending on the exposure classification and diameter of the horizontal
reinforcing bars, the specified horizontal reinforcement ratio As/bD varies from 0.0035 to 0.008 where b
is the height and D is the thickness of the wall. D need not be taken as greater than 500 mm.

RTA experience indicates that, for good control of vertical cracks in the wall that originate at its base
(where it is rigidly connected to the footing or pile cap or where the curtain wall at the top of an
abutment is restrained by the headstock), a higher ratio of the horizontal reinforcement in the lower part
of the wall compared to that provided in the upper parts of the wall is required.

The forces developed by thermal cracking during cement hydration and by differential shrinkage are
related to the length of the wall. Clause 11.6 of AS 5100.5 does not change the horizontal reinforcement
ratio in relation to the length of the wall, and the following the following should be noted:

• Clause 13.4.2 of AS 5100.3 specifies that vertical contraction joints shall be provided in long
concrete walls and abutments to control shrinkage cracking. The Clause does not specify
mandatory limits on lengths of wall between contraction joints, but spacings of 8 to 10 m are
recommended for walls founded on other than rock and 5 m for walls founded on rock.
Expansion joints are recommended at 30 m maximum spacings.

• The provisions of AS 5100.5 for horizontal reinforcement in walls are based on AS 3600,
modified for bridge structures. AS 3600 is being revised and in the current draft the following
note relates to the ratio of horizontal reinforcement: “For walls longer than 8 m additional
horizontal crack control reinforcement may be needed at the base of the wall to control thermal
cracking during hydration”.

Contact: Joe Canceri
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0805
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2007/11

1 of 2
Bridge Technical Direction

The area of horizontal reinforcement for crack control additional to that specified by Clause 11.6 of
AS 5100.5 shall be determined by the designer. However, in walls and wall type piers where the spacing
of vertical contraction or expansion joints exceeds 8.0 m, the area of horizontal reinforcement for crack
control shall be increased near the base of the wall.

As a minimum, the ratio of the reinforcement near the base of the wall up to a height equal to the
thickness of the wall shall not be less than 1.33 times the ratio calculated from the formulae in
Clause 11.6.2 of AS 5100.5. The vertical spacing of the horizontal reinforcement shall not exceed
150 mm.

Where vertical contraction or expansion joints are provided in the footing of the wall or in the pile cap
in accordance with Clause 13.4.2 of AS 5100.3, matching vertical contraction joints or expansion joints at
the same location shall also be provided in the wall.

Effective date: 17/12/2007

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer
DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Joe Canceri
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0805
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2007/11

2 of 2
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2007/10

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2007/10
RESTRAINT OF LONGITUDINAL REINFORCEMENT IN COLUMNS

Background

Clause 10.7.3 of AS 5100.5 specifies requirements for restraint of longitudinal (main) reinforcement in
columns. Specific requirements are provided for columns where full restraint is required. This Bridge
Technical Direction supplements the requirements of Clause 10.7.3 for columns where full restraint is
not required as the Clause is not specific about the requirements for such columns.

Information
Clause 10.7.3.1 specifies that full restraint has to be provided for longitudinal bars in columns where
N* > 0.5 Ø Nu. The requirements for full restraint are stringent: the principal requirement is that all
bundles of bars need to be restrained and all bars need to be restrained if the spacing is > 150 mm or
restraint of every second bar if the spacing is ≤ 150 mm, together with other requirements.
Where the N* ≤ 0.5 Ø Nu, Clause 10.7.3.1 states that full restraint is not required. There is ambiguity in
the wording of this Clause that results in a range of possible interpretations.

Bridge Technical Direction
In the design of all RTA bridges and those that will become the property of RTA, in columns where
N* < 0.5 Ø Nu and in accordance with Clause 10.7.3.1 (a) (iii) of AS 5100.5, full restraint need not be
provided to the main reinforcement; the designer shall determine the required level of restraint.
However, the restraint provided shall be not less than the following:
• In horizontal sections at least every sixth longitudinal (main) reinforcing bar or a bundle of bars
shall be restrained in accordance with Clauses 10.7.3.2 to 10.7.3.4 but the spacing of restraints
shall not exceed 1000 mm.
• In the vertical direction the spacings between restraints shall not exceed 600 mm.
The provisions of Clause 10.7.3.5 for earthquake resistance may override the above requirements.
The restraints must comply with the access requirements specified in CBE 00/05.

Reference: CBE 00/05

Effective date: 17/12/2007

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

Contact: Joe Canceri
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0805
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2007/10

1 of 2
DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Joe Canceri
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0805
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2007/10

2 of 2
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2007/09

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2007/09
SOIL-ARCH STRUCTURES

Background

Structural failure occurred in the bridge-sized concrete soil-arch structure over Allens Creek Tributary on
Picton Road near Wilton. The backfill material was shale with a plastic index (PI) higher than provided for
by the specification, and may have deteriorated with time and exposure to moisture.

The cost of rectification, because the structure is large and under deep fill, was of the order of several
hundred thousand dollars. The possibility of collapse of such structures has implications for public safety.

The soil-arch structure was supplied as a proprietary design, without independent verification, which has
been a common method of procurement from the first steel soil-arch structures dating from the 1950’s.

Because the design and drawings produced for soil-arch precast components were considered to be the
intellectual property of the manufacturer, no drawings and/or design calculations for these items were
normally made available to RTA.

Information

Until now RTA has purchased the design and supply of soil-arch structures as a proprietary item.
Because the tools for analysing such systems were not readily available and drawings were not supplied,
RTA relied on the supplier’s design methods, quality system and processes to assure the reliability of
such structures.

The failure at Wilton highlighted the need for independent proof checking of proprietary bridge sized
soil-arch structures, including the approval of non-conforming fill materials.

RTA policy is that the drawings for all bridges and bridge size structures must contain details of all
structural components including those that are produced as proprietary items. This information is
essential for the ongoing management and maintenance of RTA’s bridges and structures.

Bridge Technical Direction

The following is required:

1. The supplier shall provide evidence of independent proof checking of the design of soil-arch
structures for RTA and those that will become property of RTA:

a) For all construction contracts that include soil-arch structures;

b) For all supply contracts for soil-arch structures prior to manufacture of structural
components.

Contact: Mark Bennett
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2007/09

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2. Any proposal submitted for approval to use non-conforming fill shall be submitted to the proof
checker as well as the designer for acceptance.

3. A full set of detailed drawings for the proprietary soil-arch structure components shall be
provided for each RTA soil-arch structure, including those that will become the property of RTA.
In recognition of the commercial sensitivity of such drawings, whilst the drawings must be
included in the Schedule of Drawings on the cover sheet, the soil-arch component drawings may
be supplied separately from the set of contract drawings and will be stored separately and
treated as commercial-in-confidence by RTA.

This bridge technical direction supersedes BPC2002/04.

Reference: BPC2002/04

Effective date: 17/12/2007

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer
DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Mark Bennett
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0802
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2007/09

2 of 2
Corporate Circular
CC: BTD2007/08_Rev1

BRIDGE TECHNICAL DIRECTION BTD2007/08
DESIGN OF REPLACEMENT TRAFFIC BARRIERS ON EXISTING
BRIDGES

Background
The purpose of this bridge technical direction is to provide guidance for the design of replacement traffic
barriers for existing bridges, taking into account the design loads and barrier performance levels specified
in AS 5100 Bridge design.
Since the release of AS5100 in April 2004, the design of replacement traffic barriers on existing bridges
has been affected by the generally higher barrier design loads specified in AS 5100. Most bridges built
before 2005 have been designed using loads significantly less than those specified in AS 5100.2 e.g. for
regular performance level. This situation is further complicated if the required barrier performance level
is more severe than regular performance level.

Information and Bridge Technical Direction
This bridge technical direction shall be applied in conjunction with the relevant clauses of AS 5100.
The process for designing replacement traffic barriers shall generally be in accordance with the flow chart
in Appendix A.
In order to determine the required barrier performance level, the designer shall undertake a risk
assessment for the bridge site in accordance with Clause 10.5.1 of AS 5100.1. A suitable format for
undertaking such a risk assessment is in Appendix B. Bridge approaches must also be considered in the
risk assessment. The barrier design solution should be consistent along the road length being considered.
The form in Appendix C shall be used for collecting information about the existing bridge for
determining the barrier performance level and for carrying out the initial risk assessment.
The form in Appendix D shall be used as a guide for the bridge inspector to examine and record all
important bridge and barrier elements relevant to the design.
Appendix E shall be used to identify typical hazards that may be observed, to provide additional
information for determination of the most suitable design solution.
If the bridge cannot be economically strengthened to install a traffic barrier to the barrier performance
level specified in AS 5100 then the highest barrier performance level achievable within the economic
constraints applicable to the site shall be adopted.
If of the barrier performance levels specified by AS 5100 can be provided, then, as a minimum, the
hazards identified in Appendix E or as otherwise determined shall be eliminated.
Where the proposed barrier design achieves a performance level at or higher than that required by the
risk assessment then the approval of the Principal Bridge Engineer or his delegate to the barrier design is
not required. In all other cases, the approval of the Principal Bridge Engineer or his delegate is required.
A summary of the hazards identified and actions taken shall be provided to aid the approval.
Where the proposed barrier performance level is less than that required from the risk assessment, then
alternative amelioration strategies shall be considered including reduced speed limits or advance warning
signs.

Contact: Craig Gibbons
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0855
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2007/08_Rev1
1 of 10
Alternatives to upgrading barriers on bridge sized culverts include widening the culvert and continuing
the flexible barrier system on the approaches, designed in accordance with the RTA Road Design Guide,
across the culvert.
The resulting barrier design solution shall take into account any adverse impact on vulnerable road users
such as cyclists or pedestrians.
For the rehabilitation of existing bridges in NSW or the repair of existing barriers, an additional two
barrier performance levels (Basic and Intermediate) have been developed in accordance with
Clause 10.1 of AS 5100.1, and specified in the tables below. These tables have been adapted from
Table 10.4 and Appendix B of AS 5100.1 and Tables 11.2.2, 11.2.3 and Appendix A of AS 5100.2.
Barrier designs must not introduce or allow the continued existence of the barrier hazards identified
using Appendix E.
The information gathering, risk assessment, design, decision making and approval as well as construction
Works-As-Executed Drawings shall be recorded on the relevant bridge file and cross referenced in the
BIS.
Revision 1
Effective date: 27/9/2007 Date: 18/11/2009

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne Mark Bennett
Principal Bridge Engineer A/Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
Publication on RTA’s Intranet and the Internet
The circulation list for the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
All Bridge Engineering Staff and Skill-Hire Contractors
Asset Managers, Bridge Maintenance Planners and Support Officers
Corporate Documentation Registrar
Manager, Road Information and Asset Management Technology
Manager, Project Management Office

Contact: Craig Gibbons
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0855
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2007/08_Rev1
2 of 10
TABLE BTD2007/08/1
CRASH TEST VEHICLES AND
CRITERIA FOR DIFFERENT PERFORMANCE LEVEL BARRIERS
Barrier Vehicles Test Impact TRB-
Performance Speed Angle NCHRP
Level Report 350
km/h Degrees Test Level
No barrier N/A N/A N/A N/A
Basic 0.8 t small car 50 20 TL1
2.0 t utility 1 50 25
Low 0.8 t small car 70 20 TL2
2.0 t utility 1 70 25
Intermediate (3) 0.8 t small car 100 20 N/A
2.0 t utility 1 85 25
Regular 0.8 t small car 100 20 TL4
2.0 t utility 100 25
8 t rigid truck 1 80 15
Medium 0.8 t small car 100 20 TL5
2.0 t utility 100 25
36 t articulated van 1 80 15
Special (I) 0.8 t small car 100 20 TL6
2.0 t utility 100 25
36 t tanker 1 80 15
Special (II) 0.8 t small car 100 20 Above TL6
2.0 t utility 100 25
44 t articulated van 1 100 15
Special (III) To be specified by Other
Authority 2
1
Controlling strength test vehicle
2
Alternative criteria may be determined by the Authority for other special performance level barriers,
including combined barriers for traffic with cyclists, livestock, and the like, or ‘one off’ extreme risk situations
3
Performance Level determined by RTA which does not have an equivalent TRB-NCHRP
Report 350 Test Level

Contact: Craig Gibbons
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0855
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2007/08_Rev1
3 of 10
TABLE BTD2007/08/2
TRAFFIC BARRIER DESIGN LOADS AND CONTACT LENGTHS
Barrier Performance Ultimate Ultimate Vehicle contact Ultimate Vehicle
Level Transverse longitudinal or length for transverse vertical contact
outward load transverse loads (LT) and downward length for
inward load (FL) longitudinal loads load (FV) vertical
(FT)
(LL) loads (LV)

kN kN m kN m

Basic 90 40 1.1 20 5.5
Low 125 40 1.1 20 5.5
Intermediate 180 60 1.1 50 5.5
Regular 250 80 1.1 80 5.5
Medium 500 170 2.4 350 12.0
TL6 (36 t 750 250 2.4 350 12.0
articulated tanker)
> TL6 (44 t 1000 330 2.5 450 15.0
articulated van)

TABLE BTD2007/08/3
MINIMUM EFFECTIVE HEIGHT OF TRAFFIC BARRIER
Barrier Performance Level Minimum Effective height (He) mm
Basic 500
Low 500
Intermediate 550
Regular 800
Medium 1100
Special (I) 1400
(TL6-36 t Articulated tanker)
Special (II) 1400
(> TL6-44 t Articulated tanker)
Special (III) - Other To be specified by the Authority

Contact: Craig Gibbons
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0855
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2007/08_Rev1
4 of 10
APPENDIX BTD2007/08/A PROCESS FOR DESIGN OF REPLACEMENT TRAFFIC BARRIERS

Conduct Site Inspection
Identify Hazards
Carry Out Risk Assessment of Current Bridge Site Conditions

No
Is a Barrier Upgrade
Required?

Yes

Bridge Barrier Approach Barrier
Bridge Barrier
Approach Barrier?
Both?

Both
Determine Required Barrier Design Approach Barriers (Refer
Performance Level to RTA Road Design Guide)

Is Bridge Structurally Yes
Design Barriers to
Adequate to Accomodate
AS 5100
New Barrier Loads?

No

Is it Cost Effective To:

No No Design for Lower No Reduce No
Build a Strengthen
Barrier Site Do
New Existing
Performance Hazards Nothing?
Bridge? Bridge?
Level? Only?

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
No Is Bridge Structurally
Adequate to Accomodate
New Barrier Loads?

Yes
Design Replacement
Design Bridge and
Barrier in Accordance
Design New Barrier to AS 5100 Road to Eliminate
with this Bridge Technical
Hazards
Direction

Document Reasons for Barrier Performance Level Selection and Risks
Remaining at Bridge Site

Complete and file documentation

Contact: Craig Gibbons
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0855
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2007/08_Rev1
5 of 10
APPENDIX BTD2007/08/B SITE SPECIFIC RISK ASSESSMENT FORM FOR DETERMINING
REQUIRED PERFORMANCE LEVEL OF REPLACEMENT TRAFFIC BARRIERS
Bridge Site :

Conditions for NO BARRIERS (must be "yes" to all questions) (Y/N)
1 Bridge is less than 1.5 m above the ground.
2 Traffic volumes are less than 150 vehicles per day.
3 Radius of curvature such that in road approaches sight distance is greater than stopping distance.
4 Width between kerbs ≥ 6.5 m for 2 lane bridge and ≥ 4.0 m for one lane bridge.
5 Edge of bridge ≥ 1.0 m from edge of traffic lane.
6 No anticipated pedestrian traffic.
7 Any water beneath the bridge is normally less than 1.2 m deep.
8 Barrier would obstruct passage of debris or may be damaged by regular heavy debris.
Barrier required / Barrier not required
Conditions for BASIC PERFORMANCE LEVEL barriers
If some of the questions 1 to 3 and 5 to 8 above cannot be answered "yes" but the conditions
are more favourable than those requiring LOW PERFORMANCE LEVEL barriers, consideration
may be given to adopting BASIC PERFORMANCE LEVEL barriers.
Applicable / Not Applicable
Conditions for LOW PERFORMANCE LEVEL barriers (must be "yes" to all questions)
1 Bridge on road with low volume of traffic (< 500 vehicles/day).
2 Bridge on low to medium height above ground or water (< 4 m).
3 Bridge with an essentially straight alignment (radius > 1500 m).
4 Width between barriers ≥ 6.5 m for 2 lane bridge and ≥ 4.0 m for one lane bridge.
Applicable / Not Applicable
Conditions for INTERMEDIATE PERFORMANCE LEVEL barriers
If the site conditions listed in 1 to 3 above are exceeded and cannot be answered "yes"
consideration may be given to adopting INTERMEDIATE PERFORMANCE LEVEL barriers.
Applicable / Not Applicable
REGULAR PERFORMANCE LEVEL barriers (Y / N or N/A)
For new bridges, as a minimum, regular performance level barriers shall be provided for the effective
containment of general traffic on all roads.
Applicable / Not Applicable
Conditions for MEDIUM PERFORMANCE LEVEL barriers
Medium performance level barriers shall be provided for medium to high risk situations for
effective containment of medium to high mass vehicles and buses on all roads.
Applicable / Not Applicable
For medium to high volume of heavy vehicles, a risk assessment shall be carried out for:
1 Bridges over major roadways.
2 Bridges over high frequency passenger railway lines or goods lines carrying noxious,
flammable or large volumes of freight, or critical railway infrastructure.
3 Bridges over high occupancy land use.
Required / Not Required
For medium to high volume of buses, a risk assessment shall be carried out for :
1 Bridges more than 10 m high.
2 Bridges over deep water (more than 3.0 m deep under normal flow conditions).
3 Bridges over major roadways.
4 Bridges over high frequency passenger railway lines or goods lines carrying noxious,
flammable or large volumes of freight, or critical railway infrastructure.
5 Bridges over high occupancy land use.
Required / Not Required
Conditions for SPECIAL PERFORMANCE LEVEL of Barriers
Special performance level barriers shall be provided for :
1 Effective containment of heavy, high centre of gravity vehicles in high risk situations *
on high speed freeways, major highways and urban arterial roads with a high volume
of mixed heavy vehicles.
2 Site-specific, unusual conditions at critical locations.
3 Locations where it is essential that a penetration of, or vaulting by, vehicles identified by the RTA *
needs to be prevented.
Applicable / Not Applicable
Site-specific justification shall be based on risk assessment, with particular emphasis on third party
risk for situations including , but not limited to, the following:
1 Bridges over major roadways.
2 Bridges over high frequency passenger railway lines or goods lines carrying noxious,
flammable or large volumes of freight, or critical railway infrastructure.
3 Bridges over high occupancy land use.
Required / Not Required
Based on the above site-specific risk assessment, the required performance level of the barrier to be
provided on the existing bridge is:
* Vehicles that require containment need to be identified by the RTA. A high risk situation is one where penetration of the identified vehicles
represents an unacceptable risk to the occupants or to other persons or property.

Contact: Craig Gibbons
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0855
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2007/08_Rev1
6 of 10
APPENDIX BTD2007/08/C (Sheet 1) Date :

File no:
Section:
Contact:
TRAFFIC BARRIERS GENERAL BRIDGE DESIGN INFORMATION FORM Name :
Bridge Number :

Telephone no:
Road Number :

Circular Number:
LGA :

Bridge Name :
Bridge Over :
Location :

94M3917
8837 0855
Overall Length :

Craig Gibbons
Skew Angle :

Bridge Engineering

BTD2007/08_Rev1
Year Built :
General File Number :
Plan Regn. No. of Drawings :

LHS RHS
Span Span Description Span Footway Shoulder Number Lane Median Number Lane Shoulder Footway Total
No. ( e.g. RC slab, steel truss, Length or Kerb Width of Width Width of Width Width or Kerb Width
composite steel girder/RC deck, Width Lanes Lanes Width
timber truss, PSC planks, etc) (m) (m) (m) (m) (m) (m) (m) (m) (m)

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Overall Length

7 of 10
File no:
Section:
Contact:
APPENDIX BTD2007/08/C (Sheet 2) Date :

Telephone no:
TRAFFIC BARRIERS GENERAL BRIDGE DESIGN INFORMATION FORM Name :

Circular Number:
Bridge over : Reasons for considering
Water (Y / N) bridge for a traffic barrier upgrade
Dry ground (Y / N)
Road (Y / N)
Railway (Y / N) Accident prone bridge site (Y / N)
High occupancy land use (Y / N or high, med, low) Details
Other

94M3917
8837 0855
Craig Gibbons
Bridge deck height above ground (Max) m Unprotected pedestrians on bridge (Y / N)
Bridge deck height above average water level (Max) m Pedestrian protection required (Y / N)

Bridge Engineering

BTD2007/08_Rev1
Depth of water at average water level (Max) m
Fast flowing water (Y / N / Tidal) Existing Traffic Barrier Details
Water flow speed m/s Inadequate strength to contain :
Bridge subject to flooding (Y / N) Cars (Y / N)
Medium weight vehicle (Y / N)
Road Alignment: Heavy vehicles (Y / N)
Straight (Y / N) Inadequate rigidity (too flexible) (Y / N)
Horizontal curve radius m Inadequate ductility (too brittle) (Y / N)
Vertical curve (Y / N) Inadequate height (Y / N)
Vertical curve radius m Inadequate continuity (gaps) (Y / N)
Stopping sight distance m
Current Bridge Traffic Barrier Hazards
Barrier elements may spear vehicle (Y / N)
TRAFFIC DATA Barrier too rigid without protection (Y / N)
Signposted road speed limit km/h Protruding kerbs (Y / N)
Traffic volume (AADT)
Percentage commercial vehicles % Road Barriers on Bridge Approaches
Type of commercial vehicles: Approach barrier present (Y / N)
Heavy (Y / N) Inadequate rigidity (too flexible) (Y / N)
High centre of gravity (Y / N) Inadequate connection (Y / N)
Busses (Y / N) Inadequate anchorage (Y / N)
Bridge used by pedestrians (Y / N) Inadequate transition to bridge barrier (Y / N)
Inadequate clear zone on approaches (Y / N)
High embankment on approaches (Y / N)
Rigid objects on approaches (Y / N)

8 of 10
APPENDIX BTD2007/08/D
TRAFFIC BARRIERS INSPECTION REPORT FORM
Bridge Over : Name :
Location : Date :
Road :
Bridge Number :

Description :

Photo : Click on red squares for photos, Click on photo to come back

DIRECTION DIRECTION
From: From:
To: To:
Observations Recommendations Observations Recommendations
DEPARTURE APPROACH
BARRIER BARRIER

Photo : Photo :
CONNECTION CONNECTION

Photo : Photo :
END POST END POST

Photo : Photo :
CONNECTION CONNECTION

Photo : Photo :
BRIDGE BRIDGE
BARRIER BARRIER

Photo : Photo :
BARRIER BARRIER
SPLICE SPLICE
CONNECTION CONNECTION
Photo : Photo :
BRIDGE BRIDGE
BARRIER BARRIER

Photo : Photo :
CONNECTION CONNECTION

Photo : Photo :
END POST END POST

Photo : Photo :
CONNECTION CONNECTION

Photo : Photo :
APPROACH DEPARTURE
BARRIER BARRIER

Photo : Photo :

Contact: Craig Gibbons
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0855
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2007/08_Rev1
9 of 10
APPENDIX BTD2007/08/E EXISTING BARRIER HAZARDS
Hazard

1. Unprotected rigid barrier (e.g. barrier ending on an end post that does not have
any guardrail attached on the approach side)

2. Elements that may spear vehicle

3. Discontinuities in horizontal rails

4. Protruding kerbs

5. Inadequate barrier height

6. Barrier too brittle/fragile (e.g. lightly reinforced concrete rails, timber barriers, etc)

7. Barrier too flexible (e.g. chain mesh)

8. Inadequate guardrail connection

9. Inadequate guardrail anchorage

10. Approach barrier too flexible

11. Insufficient stiffness transition

12. High embankments

13. Lack of containment

Contact: Craig Gibbons
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0855
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BTD2007/08_Rev1
10 of 10
Corporate Circular
CC: BPC2007/07

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR BPC2007/07
VERTICAL CLEARANCES ON BRIDGES
Background

Vertical clearances at overbridges and through truss bridges have been measured and signposted on
NSW bridges for a long time. With some exceptions, the minimum clearance under a bridge was
signposted to only one decimal point. However, vertical clearances under an overbridge generally vary
across the road under the bridge due to the grade and crossfall of the road and the profile of the
underside of the overbridge.

In 1992, to meet the needs of the transport industry, RTA collected minimum clearances on all traffic
lanes on classified roads with restricted vertical clearances due to the presence of overbridges, through
truss bridges and some sign structures. The ‘permissible clearances’ on such traffic lanes were published
in a book titled ‘Vertical Clearances on Classified Roads’. The permissible clearance data were later
populated in the Bridge Information System (BIS).

The guidelines used in the collection of clearance data in 1992 are currently still being used. There is a
need for a policy to define a consistent procedure for measurement, recording, publishing and
signposting of vertical clearance data at overbridges and through trusses on NSW roads.

Policy
Vertical clearances at overbridges and through trusses on the NSW road network shall be measured and
signposted in accordance with this circular for:

• Measurement of actual clearances;

• Permissible clearances for public use;

• Signposting clearances on bridges;

• Exemptions by Review Committee.

Measurement of actual clearances

The vertical clearance at each affected traffic lane shall be measured in metres rounded down to two
decimal places. The controlling clearance for a traffic lane is the minimum clearance available on that
lane under the bridge. It is usually the lower of the clearances at the lane markings. However, there
could be a lower clearance in the middle of lanes due to attachments on the bridge. Where road
shoulders are available, the clearance to them shall also be measured.

Contact: Siva Perumynar
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 0857
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2007/07

1 of 9
The controlling clearance for a bridge is the minimum clearance available under a bridge on the
trafficable part of the road carriageway. For a bridge with a single sign stating the minimum clearance,
the controlling clearance shall be used to derive the Signposted Clearance.

The measured clearances for each bridge shall be recorded on a clearly labelled sketch for future
reference. The sketch(es) with actual measurements shall be stored in relevant General and Regional
bridge files.

Sketches BPC2007/07 - 1 to 3 are attached as proformas.

All vertical clearance measurements at bridge sites shall be re-surveyed and updated every five years.

Where any work has been done on a road or a bridge that could affect vertical clearances at a site,
clearances shall be re-surveyed as soon as possible after the work has been completed. The vertical
clearance data shall be updated in the Bridge Information System as soon as practicable.

Permissible clearances for public use

A safety margin shall be applied to the measured controlling clearances at a site to derive the permissible
clearances for public use at the site. The safety margin shall allow for tolerances in vehicle height
measurements, road surface variations due to minor road works such as patching, tolerances to
measured values due to road and bridge geometry at the site and any possible serviceability deflections
of the overbridge.

A minimum safety margin of 100 mm shall be deducted from the controlling clearances at each lane to
derive the permissible clearances on the corresponding lanes. These clearances shall be used to advise
the public of the clearances on the traffic lanes under an overbridge e.g. if the measured controlling
clearance on a lane is 4.27 m, the permissible clearance for the lane shall be 4.17 m unless the site
requires special consideration.

For most bridges, a safety margin of 100 mm is adequate. However, if a combination of unusual grades
and road geometry exists at a site, an estimation of the controlling clearance at the site is required and
additional safety margins may be required for the increased risk to the structure (refer to
Appendix BPC2007/07 – 1).

If, after consideration of the facts related to a site, a higher safety margin is adopted to derive the
permissible clearances for the bridge site, then the adopted safety margin and the reasons for it shall be
documented and recorded in the Bridge Information System.

Signposting clearances on bridges

Vertical clearances on bridges shall be signposted in accordance with Australian Standard AS 1742.2.

• All bridges with measured minimum vertical clearances of less than 5.3 m must be signposted.

• Vertical clearances displayed on bridges shall be to one decimal place in metres as per AS 1742.2.

The clearance for display on a clearance sign on a bridge shall be derived as follows:

Step 1. The controlling (i.e. measured minimum) clearance for the bridge shall be rounded down to
one decimal place in metres;

Step 2. Deduct a safety margin of 0.1 m from the clearance derived in Step 1;

Contact: Siva Perumynar
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 0857
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2007/07

2 of 9
Step 3. If the bridge site requires special consideration, then ensure that the clearance calculated
from Step 2 is adequate for the site.

e.g. an overbridge has a measured minimum clearance of 4.29 m on the road carriageway(s) under
the bridge:

Step 1. Clearance rounded down to one decimal place = 4.2 m;

Step 2. Apply safety margin of 0.1 m = 4.2 – 0.1 = 4.1 m;

Step 3. Adequacy of 4.1 m for the site checked and confirmed as adequate.

Clearance for display on clearance sign = 4.1 m.

An example of calculating a signposted clearance is given in Table BPC2007/07 – 1.

Table BPC2007/07 - 1 – Example clearances for public use and signposting

Measured Minimum Permissible Signposted
Vertical Clearance Vertical Clearance Vertical Clearance Comments
(m) (m) (m)

3.50 3.40 3.4
3.51 3.41 3.4
3.52 3.42 3.4
3.53 3.43 3.4
3.54 3.44 3.4
3.55 3.45 3.4
3.56 3.46 3.4
3.57 3.47 3.4
Recommended clearance for signposting.
3.58 3.48 3.4 However, the signposted clearance can be
posted as 3.5 m after the Review Committee
approves that the risk with 80-90 mm safety
3.59 3.49 3.4 margin is acceptable for the lane and/or bridge

3.60 3.50 3.5
3.61 3.51 3.5
3.62 3.52 3.5

More than one sign may be required for some bridges to clearly indicate the clearances available over
critical lanes.

Signposting of lanes may be considered in the following cases:

• A multi-lane through truss with knee bracings (refer to Figure BPC2007/07 – 1).

Contact: Siva Perumynar
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 0857
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2007/07

3 of 9
• A low clearance bridge where the controlling minimum clearance for the road under the bridge in a
specific direction of travel is exceeded in other lanes with the same direction of traffic, by at least
0.2 m in the signposted clearance.

Figure 2007/07 - 1 - A multi-lane through truss with knee bracings

Exemptions by Review Committee

Provision is given for exemptions from this policy at a specific site through a review process by an expert
Review Committee. The Review Committee shall include the Regional Bridge Maintenance Planner,
Senior Bridge Engineer (Technology & Practice) and Regional RSTM Manager.

After the consideration of facts relevant to a specific site, judgement of risks and assessment of
community costs, the Review Committee may recommend greater clearances for public use and display
on signs than that permitted under this policy. However, the minimum safety margin on controlling
measured clearances at any site shall not be less than 80 mm.

When the Review Committee reviews vertical clearances at a site, the recommendations of the
committee shall be documented and recorded in the Bridge Information System.

Action

Measurement and signposting of vertical clearances to bridges on NSW’s road network shall be in
accordance with this policy.

Effective date: 6/08/2007
Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

Contact: Siva Perumynar
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 0857
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2007/07

4 of 9
DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Siva Perumynar
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 0857
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2007/07

5 of 9
Appendix BPC2007/07 - 1

A case for consideration of a higher safety margin (> 100 mm) on a measured controlling vertical
clearance.

Overbridge
Controlling
Clearance

Sectional view along the road under the bridge

Notes:

1. The base line of a long vehicle could be higher than the level of the point
controlling the height of the road surface depending on the combination of
road geometry and the long vehicle’s configuration.
2. The geometry of the cross-section along the critical line along the length of
the overbridge could cause additional complexities needing consideration.
3. The railway overbridge at Granville over Parramatta Road (Bridge No 317)
is an example of such a case.

Contact: Siva Perumynar
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 0857
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2007/07

6 of 9
Sketch BPC2007/07 - 1

Contact: Siva Perumynar
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 0857
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2007/07

7 of 9
Sketch BPC2007/07 - 2

Contact: Siva Perumynar
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 0857
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2007/07

8 of 9
Sketch BPC2007/07 - 3

Contact: Siva Perumynar
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 0857
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2007/07

9 of 9
Corporate Circular
CC: BPC2007/06

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR BPC2007/06
RTA STRUCTURAL DRAFTING AND DETAILING MANUAL

Background
The RTA Structural Drafting Manual was originally developed for RTA in-house projects and for those
managed directly by the RTA.
This manual has now been reviewed with the following objectives:
• Updating the information in the manual;
• Making the manual more relevant to external service providers and consultants and to projects
delivered by various methods e.g. Alliances; and
• Bringing the manual into line where possible with Australian Standards.
Because the manual has been extensively reviewed and covers structural detailing as well as drafting
matters it has been renamed the “RTA Structural Drafting and Detailing Manual”.

Information
The RTA Structural Drafting and Detailing Manual is now available on the RTA’s Internet site
www.rta.nsw.gov.au at:
Doing business with us/Design reference documents/Structural Drafting and Detailing Manual
The direct link to the RTA Structural Drafting and Detailing Manual on the Internet is:
http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/doingbusinesswithus/designdocuments/structural_drafting_detailing.html
Updates of individual sections of the manual will be deployed onto the RTA’s Internet site as soon as
practicable, and will be advised on a quarterly basis (refer to BPC 2007/03).

Action
The RTA Structural Drafting and Detailing Manual supersedes the RTA Structural Drafting Manual and
shall be used for the preparation of bridge and structural drawings for bridgeworks and structures for
RTA and those that will become property of RTA.

Reference: BPC 2007/03

Effective date: 9/07/2007

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

Contact: Colyn Jones
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0803
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2007/06

1 of 2
DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Colyn Jones
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0803
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2007/06

2 of 2
Corporate Circular
CC: BPC2007/05

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR BPC2007/05
DESIGN OF INTEGRAL BRIDGES

Background

Integral bridges, that are bridges without deck expansion joints, when properly designed offer advantages
including improved riding surfaces, reduced deck joint maintenance costs, elimination of problems from
leaking deck joints and reduced initial bridge cost.

Integral bridge construction is not always suitable because the bridge configuration may result in effects
over time such as structural damage to the bridge and deformation of the approach embankments and
pavements. This circular provides design requirements and limitations on this type of bridges for RTA or
those that will become property of RTA.

In formulating the design requirements and limitations in this circular, reference has been made to UK
Design Manual for Roads and Bridges Advice Note BA42/96 and to VicRoads draft Bridge Technical
Note 2007/014 Design of Integral Bridges and Semi-Integral Bridges. Reference has also been made to
design practices in the USA.

This circular gives design requirements and limitations for bridge length, alignment, skew, approach slabs
and wing walls. Subsequent circular/s will address requirements for piles, backfill and preferred integral
abutment and other details.

Consideration needs to be given to soil-structure interaction in the design of integral bridges.

In accordance with BPC 2004/06, integral bridge elements, components and their connections shall be
designed in accordance with AS 5100-2004. The requirements of this circular are additional to those of
AS 5100-2004.

Policy

The following design requirements and limitations apply to the design of integral bridges:

1. The maximum superstructure length excluding approach slabs shall be 70 metres.

2. The horizontal alignment shall preferably be straight but, if on a curve, the radius of the
curve shall not be less than 750 m.

Contact: Colyn Jones
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0803
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2007/05

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3. The skew shall be limited to the following values:

Bridge Length Maximum Skew

≤ 50 m 30 degrees

> 50 m and ≤ 70 m 20 degrees

4. Approach slabs shall conform to the following:

(a) Details, except as required by this circular, shall be in accordance with BPC 2004/10;

(b) The minimum length shall be in accordance with BPC 2004/10 with the additional
requirement that it shall exceed one and a half times the depth of the abutment,
measured from the underside of the approach slab to the underside of the abutment
headstock/sill beam;

(c) Placed on a double layer membrane to reduce sliding friction, with each layer being
minimum 300 µm thick polyethylene damp course membrane with high impact
resistance conforming to AS 2870;

(d) The double layer membrane to be placed on a nominal 50 mm thick correction layer of
compacted sand; and

(e) Dowels connecting the approach slab to the abutment shall be in accordance with
BPC 2004/10 with the additional requirement that their total design strength shall be
greater than the sliding resistance of the approach slab.

5. Wing walls attached to abutments should be kept as small as possible to minimise the
amount of structure and earth that moves with the abutment during thermal movements of
the superstructure.

References: BPC 2004/06

Effective date: 1/08/2007

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Colyn Jones
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0803
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2007/05

2 of 2
Corporate Circular
CC: BPC2007/04

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR BPC2007/04
CHANGES TO STANDARD BRIDGE DRAWINGS
STEEL TRAFFIC BARRIER RAILING JOINTS

Background

AS 5100-2004 has introduced the following requirements for steel traffic barrier railing joints:

• Joints shall be capable of transmitting a minimum of 75% of the longitudinal tensile strength of
the rail;

• Joints shall be capable of transmitting the full design requirement of the rail in bending.

For aesthetic and functional reasons the RTA prefers cup head rather than hexagonal head bolts at
joints.

There has been a range of joint details used on steel railing joints with some details not satisfying
AS 5100 requirements.

Information

RTA Standard Bridge Drawings Nos RTAB053 and RTAB054 have been developed for steel traffic
barrier railing joints for Regular and Medium Bridge Barrier Performance Levels respectively.

These and other RTA Standard Bridge Drawings are now available on the RTA Internet site
www.rta.nsw.gov.au at:
Doing business with us/Design reference documents/Standard Bridge Drawings

The direct link to RTA Standard Bridge Drawings on the Internet is:
http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/doingbusinesswithus/designdocuments/bridge_drawings.html

Action

On Regular and Medium Performance Level road bridge traffic barriers RTA Standard Bridge Drawings
Nos RTAB053 and RTAB054 shall be used for steel traffic barrier railing joints.

Contact: Colyn Jones
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0803
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2007/04

1 of 2
References: RTA Standard Bridge Drawing Nos RTAB053, RTAB054 and the RTA Standard Bridge
Drawing Cover Sheet.

Effective date: 6/7/2007

Approved: Wije Ariyaratne
Principal Bridge Engineer
DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Colyn Jones
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0803
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2007/04

2 of 2
Corporate Circular
CC: BPC2007/03

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR BPC2007/03
CHANGES TO STANDARD BRIDGE DRAWINGS
QUARTERLY UPDATE - REVISED AUSTRALIAN STANDARDS

Background

The Australian Standards that are referenced on bridge construction drawings and RTA Standard Bridge
Drawings must be relevant and current.

Information

Bridge Policy Circulars (BPCs) were issued whenever there were any changes made to Standard Bridge
Drawings. These are now available for download in Portable Document Format (PDF) on the RTA’s
Internet site at http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/doingbusinesswithus/designdocuments/bridge_drawings.html.

To minimize delays between completion of revised drawings and their publication on the Internet,
drawings with minor changes will be published as soon as practicable on the RTA’s Internet site without
issue of an accompanying BPC. Any such changes will be advised by issue of BPCs quarterly in the latter
part of March, June, September and December. This BPC is the first such one. New or existing drawings
with major changes will be issued with an accompanying BPC as at present.

Australian Standard AS 2837 – Wrought alloy steels – Stainless steel bars and semi finished products, has
been withdrawn. This standard is referred to on RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB036 – Dowel
Assembly for Plank Decks, and some of the standard drawings for approach slabs. The note containing a
reference to the withdrawn Australian Standard has been revised to refer instead to ASTM A276 –
Standard Specification for Stainless Steel Bars and Shapes. Minor detail corrections have also been made
on the remaining approach slab drawings. Because of this, RTA Standard Bridge Drawing Nos RTAB036
and RTAB049A – RTAB049H have been reissued.

Australian Standard AS 1311 – Steel tendons for prestressed concrete, has been replaced by
AS/NZS 4672.1 – Steel prestressing – General requirements. RTA Standard Bridge Drawing
Nos RTAB025, RTAB027, RTAB028, RTAB033B and RTAB060 – RTAB072 which are affected by this
change have been revised accordingly.

As AS 4672.1 does not provide for steel reinforcing wire, a note has been added to RTA Standard
Bridge Drawing Nos RTAB003, RTAB004, RTAB027, RTAB028 and RTAB031 to provide details of an
equivalent material and standard.

Action

The latest issue of each drawing, as shown on Issue 38 April 2007 of the RTA Standard Bridge Drawings
Cover Sheet, shall be used in all current and future RTA projects until superseded by later issues.

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2007/03

1 of 2
References: RTA Standard Bridge Drawing Nos RTAB003, RTAB004, RTAB025, RTAB027,
RTAB028, RTAB031, RTAB033B, RTAB036, RTAB049A – H, RTAB060 – 072 and the RTA
Standard Bridge Drawings Cover Sheet

Effective/issued date: 21/06/2007

Approved:

Warren Stalder
A/Manager, Bridge Technology

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2007/03

2 of 2
Corporate Circular
CC: BPC2007/02

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR BPC2007/02
CHANGES TO STANDARD BRIDGE DRAWINGS
INSTALLATION OF ELASTOMERIC BEARINGS FOR PSC GIRDERS

Background

The installation of elastomeric bearings for precast pretensioned concrete girders detailed on RTA
Standard Bridge Drawing Nos RTAB033G and RTAB050 has been revised.

Information

The information contained in Table 1 of each of the drawings as well as the notes beneath the tables has
been revised. The notes beneath the tables have been revised to provide information to the designer on
the variables to take into account when determining the thickness at each corner of the precast epoxy
mortar pad.

In addition to the above, the notes on the Elevation of Girder after Deck Construction which specified
the conditions for the bearing installation have been revised to specify that bearings must be horizontal
on completion of bridge construction.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawings are now available on the RTA Internet site www.rta.nsw.gov.au at:

Doing business with us/Design reference documents/Standard Bridge Drawings

The direct link to RTA Standard Bridge Drawings on the Internet is:

http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/doingbusinesswithus/designdocuments/bridge_drawings.html

Action

The latest issue of each drawing is as given on Issue 37 April 2007 of the RTA Standard Drawings Cover
Sheet. The latest issues of these drawings are available on the RTA’s Internet site and shall be used in all
current and future projects until superseded by later issues.

References: RTA Standard Bridge Drawing Nos RTAB033G, RTAB050 and the RTA Standard
Bridge Drawings Cover Sheet

Contact: Ian Hobson
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 - 0820
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2007/02

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Effective date: 05/04/2007

Approved:

for
Warren Stalder
A/Manager, Bridge Technology

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Ian Hobson
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 - 0820
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2007/02

2 of 2
Corporate Circular
CC: BPC2007/01

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR BPC2007/01
CHANGES TO STANDARD BRIDGE DRAWINGS
REVISION OF STANDARD BRIDGE DRAWINGS

Background

All RTA Standard Bridge Drawings are required to be approved for use by the senior officer in Bridge
Engineering and each drawing must carry the signature of that officer.

Information

The title of the senior officer in Bridge Engineering was changed from Manager, Bridge Engineering to
Principal Bridge Engineer with the appointment becoming effective on 15 January 2007.

As a result of the change in title, all RTA Standard Bridge Drawings have been revised. The current Issue
Number of each drawing is as shown on the RTA Standard Drawing set Cover Sheet, which is now
released as Issue 36 January 2007.

Action

The latest issue of each drawing, as shown on Issue 36 of the RTA Standard Drawing set Cover Sheet,
shall be used in all current and future projects as required.

References: All current RTA Standard Bridge Drawings; Standard Bridge Drawing Cover Sheet

Effective date: 19/01/2007

Approved:

Warren Stalder
A/Manager, Bridge Technology

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Ian Hobson
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 0820
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2007/01

1 of 1
Corporate Circular
CC: BPC2006/13

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR BPC2006/13
CHANGES TO STANDARD BRIDGE DRAWINGS
REVISION OF THREE STANDARD BRIDGE DRAWINGS – Nos RTAB032;
RTAB041; RTAB042C

Background

Three Standard Bridge Drawings require revision as detailed below.

Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB032 – Cast-In Anchor Assembly for Thrie Beam Connection to
Type F Concrete Safety Barrier

The vertical dimension given from road pavement level to the centreline of the thrie beam connector
used in bridge concrete safety barriers has been revised in Road Engineering Model Drawings.

Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB041 – A1 Sheet for Consultant Drawings

The title block on the standard A1 drawing sheet used for bridge construction drawings by Bridge
Engineering Section has been revised to include additional information. The A1 drawing sheet available
for use by consultants should replicate the title block used on RTA drawings.

Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB042C – Position of Name Plates on Bridges

The position shown for the location of one of the name plates on pedestrian bridges on Issue 2 of
RTAB042C is incorrect.

Information

RTAB032 – Cast-In Anchor Assembly for Thrie Beam Connection to Type F Concrete Safety Barrier

The vertical dimension from the road pavement/bridge wearing surface level to the centreline of the
thrie beam connector detailed on RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB032 has been revised
upwards from 535 to 550 in order to conform to RTA road design requirements.

Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB032 is now released as Issue 9 October 2006.

RTAB041 – A1 Sheet for Consultant Drawings

Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB041 has been revised to include necessary additional information in
the title block and is now released as Issue 7 October 2006.

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2006/13

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RTAB042C – Position of Name Plates on Bridges

Name plates shall be attached to the pedestrian railing on the left hand side as pedestrians leave the
bridge, ramps or stairs as appropriate.

Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB042C has been revised to show the correct location of all name
plates for pedestrian bridges and is now released as Issue 3 August 2006.

Standard Bridge Drawing Cover Sheet

The RTA Standard Bridge Drawing Cover Sheet has been updated to reflect the above changes and is
now released as Issue 35 October 2006.

Action

This Policy applies to all RTA funded bridgeworks from the date of signature.

References: RTAB032; RTAB041; RTAB042C; Standard Bridge Drawing Cover Sheet

Effective date: 27/10/2006

Approved:

Warren Stalder
A/Manager, Bridge Technology
DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 02 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2006/13

2 of 2
Corporate Circular
CC: BPC2006/09

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR BPC2006/09
CHANGES TO STANDARD BRIDGE DRAWINGS
REINFORCEMENT NOMENCLATURE CHANGED ON ALL BRIDGE
STANDARD DRAWINGS CONTAINING REINFORCEMENT

Background

The RTA’s Structural Drafting Manual is in the process of a major review, prior to being approved and
released for use for both internal and external use.

A major change to the Manual is the methodology used to describe reinforcement shown on drawings.
Section 23 of the Manual and Appendix A to the Manual have been rewritten in order to fully conform
with the reinforcing nomenclature used in AS/NZS 1100.501 – Structural Engineering Drawing.

Information

All RTA Standard Bridge Drawings that contain reinforcement detailing have been revised and updated
to conform to the reinforcing nomenclature used in AS/NZS 1100.501.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB001 is now released as Issue 9 October 2006 – changes to title
block only.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB003 is now released as Issue 14 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB004 is now released as Issue 14 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB027 is now released as Issue 8 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB028 is now released as Issue 8 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB031 is now released as Issue 13 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB033A is now released as Issue 5 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB033B is now released as Issue 5 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB033C is now released as Issue 5 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB033D is now released as Issue 6 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB033E is now released as Issue 6 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB033F is now released as Issue 6 October 2006.

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2006/09

1 of 3
RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB034 is now released as Issue 13 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB049A is now released as Issue 3 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB049B is now released as Issue 3 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB049C is now released as Issue 3 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB049D is now released as Issue 3 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB049E is now released as Issue 4 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB049F is now released as Issue 3 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB049G is now released as Issue 4 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB049H is now released as Issue 3 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB060 is now released as Issue 6 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB061 is now released as Issue 6 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB062 is now released as Issue 6 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB063 is now released as Issue 6 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB064 is now released as Issue 6 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB065 is now released as Issue 6 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB066 is now released as Issue 6 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB067 is now released as Issue 6 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB068 is now released as Issue 7 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB069 is now released as Issue 7 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB070 is now released as Issue 7 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB071 is now released as Issue 7 October 2006.

RTA Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB072 is now released as Issue 7 October 2006.

The RTA Standard Bridge Drawing Cover Sheet has been updated to reflect the above changes and is
now released as Issue 34 October 2006.

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2006/09

2 of 3
Action

This Policy applies to all RTA funded bridgeworks from the date of signature.

References: RTAB001, RTAB003, RTAB004, RTAB027, RTAB028, RTAB031, RTAB033A to
RTAB033F; RTAB034, RTAB049A to RTAB049H, RTAB060 to RTAB072; RTA Standard Bridge
Drawing Cover Sheet

Effective date: 20/10/2006

Approved:

Warren Stalder
A/Manager, Bridge Technology
DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2006/09

3 of 3
Corporate Circular
CC: BPC2006/07

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR BPC2006/07
CHANGES TO STANDARD BRIDGE DRAWINGS
REVISION OF STANDARD BRIDGE DRAWING No RTAB029 – STANDARD
NOTES

Background

The Drawings and technical specifications form parts of the Contract Specification. The technical
specifications are equally important as the Drawings and therefore need to complement each other.

Over the years Bridge Engineering Section has placed Standard Notes on drawings. Most are a
shortened form of the relevant technical specification and in some cases do not adequately reflect the
intent. Contractually this duplication can potentially lead to arguments over interpretation and claims.

Notes on drawings should only be required to:
• Explain drawing codes, conventions and abbreviations;
• Quantify values and give information required by the technical specifications;
• Cover aspects of the design not covered by the technical specifications.

Notes on drawings that say “see RTA Specification BXXX” or even “see specification” indicate that the
technical specification already covers the design aspect adequately. The presence of the Standard Notes
could also imply to the Contractor that technical specification clauses not specifically referred to on the
drawings are secondary or not as important.

Drawings for bridge rehabilitation projects are sometimes an exception because this work may not be
covered in technical specifications written specifically for construction of new bridges. In the absence of
“rehabilitation” specifications, notes have been used in the belief that suitable specifications do not exist.
To date, most rehabilitation work has been performed within the RTA without contractual difficulties,
but this practice may change in the near future.

Action

Note cells have been amended to rectify this situation, with Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB029 now
released as Issue 15 July 2006.

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2006/07

1 of 2
The RTA Standard Bridge Drawing Cover Sheet has been revised to reflect the above changes and now
released as Issue 32 July 2006.

References: RTAB029 – Standard Notes; RTA Standard Bridge Drawing Cover Sheet

Effective date: 3/7/2006

Review date: 3/7/2009

Approved:

Warren Stalder
A/Manager, Bridge Technology
DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2006/07

2 of 2
Corporate Circular
CC: BPC2006/05

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR BPC2006/05
PIPES AND CONDUITS FOR BRIDGEWORKS

Background

Changes to Australian Standards require CBE 90/11 to be updated, and it is now cancelled.

Information

The following pipes and conduits must be used for RTA funded bridgeworks, unless site specific
conditions require otherwise:

1. For electrical cables e.g. for lamp standards, embedded in concrete:

Use: DN 80 (AU) HD RIGID PLAIN INSULATING UPVC CONDUIT AND FITTINGS TO
AS/NZS 2053.

2. For telecommunication cables and voids in parapets for future services:

Use: DN 100 (AU) HD RIGID PLAIN INSULATING UPVC CONDUIT AND FITTINGS TO
AS/NZS 2053.

3. For deck drainage systems and drainage of voids in concrete bridges etc.:

Use: DN * PVCU DWV SN10 PIPE AND FITTINGS TO AS/NZS 1260.

4. Polyethylene (e.g. DN * SN 10 SDR 21 PE PIPES TO AS/NZS 5065) or Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-
Styrene (ABS) (e.g. S1 ABS 120 DN * PN 12 PIPES TO AS/NZS 3518) pipes should only be used
where prolonged exposure to sunlight and pipe flexibility are critical.

* The nominal size (DN) of the pipe shall be obtained from the service provider or determined by the
designer.

5. For larger pipe sizes or where fire resistance or other design criteria apply, consideration should be
given to specifying pipes of materials more appropriate to the intended use than those above.
Where possible, specifications for such pipes and conduits should refer to the relevant Australian
Standard.

Drainage pipes must be provided with rod out points at each change in direction for future maintenance.

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2006/05

1 of 2
Action

This Policy applies to all RTA funded bridgeworks from the date of signature.

Reference: CBE 90/11

Effective date: 24/05/2006

Review date: 24/05/2009

Approved:

Warren Stalder
A/Manager, Bridge Technology
DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2006/05

2 of 2
Corporate Circular
CC: BPC2006/04

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR BPC2006/04
CHANGES TO STANDARD BRIDGE DRAWINGS
BRIDGE TRAFFIC BARRIERS – STANDARD CROSS SECTIONS

Background

The introduction of the Australian Bridge Design Code AS 5100-2004 has required bridge traffic barriers
to be designed for significantly higher forces and for the barriers to generally be higher.

Information

The RTA has developed standard cross sections for both Regular and Medium Performance Level bridge
traffic barriers.

These cross sections are based on modifying previous standard cross sections that have performed
satisfactorily in the past, to conform to AS 5100.

It is noted that where the cross section consists of two steel rails on a concrete section all the design
forces are taken by the steel rails to achieve the minimum height required by AS 5100.

Action

Bridge traffic barrier cross sections for Regular and Medium Performance Levels to AS 5100 shall be in
accordance with RTA Bridge Standard Drawings No.s RTAB051 and RTAB052, both Issue 1 July 2006,
and any subsequent updates. These cross sections may need to be modified for bridges subject to
submergence.

Alternative barrier cross sections for Regular and Medium Performance Levels need the approval of the
undersigned.

Although not shown on the attached standard drawings bolted not welded joints between railings of
adjacent panels shall be used to suit construction tolerances and for maintenance.

The RTA Standard Bridge Drawing Cover Sheet has been revised to reflect the above changes and now
released as Issue 31 July 2006.

Contact: Colyn Jones
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0803
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2006/04

1 of 2
This policy circular supersedes CBE 1998/01.

References: CBE 1998/01; RTAB051, RTAB052; RTA Standard Bridge Drawing Cover Sheet

Effective date: 3/7/2006

Review date: 3/7/2009

Approved:

Warren Stalder
A/Manager, Bridge Technology
DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Colyn Jones
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0803
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2006/04

2 of 2
Corporate Circular
CC: BPC2006/03

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR BPC2006/03
RTA APPROVAL OF PROPRIETARY BRIDGING SYSTEMS

Background

The performance of some proprietary bridging systems in use has not always been satisfactory, with the
consequence being that asset owners potentially now face costly and ongoing repairs to bridges only
recently put into service.

Bridge Policy Circulars CBE 99/1, CBE 99/5 and BPC 2001/02 specify RTA requirements for some
proprietary bridging systems.

The RTA has reviewed a number of systems submitted for assessment for suitability for RTA use. As a
result of these reviews, suppliers have made changes to their systems or the RTA’s policies have been
amended to ensure adequate performance of bridging systems in service.

Current Position

There are a number of proprietary bridging systems now available that are highly competitive with more
traditional methods of bridging but not all systems conform to RTA needs and requirements, and there is
potential for recurrence of the problems that have been eliminated from approved systems.

Action

Proprietary bridging systems shall be assessed by the RTA for conformance to AS 5100 Bridge design,
relevant RTA policies and their suitability for use on RTA funded works prior to use on RTA funded
works.

Submissions from suppliers of such systems shall be forwarded to the Manager, Bridge Specification &
Rehabilitation in the RTA’s Bridge Engineering Section (ph 02 8837 0850 fax 02 8837 0054) in the first
instance. Submissions shall contain full details of the proposed bridging system, and sufficient supporting
documentation, including design calculations and performance records, to enable assessment of the
suitability of the system for RTA use.

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2006/03

1 of 2
Project Managers, Asset Managers and Principal’s Representatives shall consult Bridge Engineering Section
prior to specifying or accepting the use of proprietary systems on RTA funded works.

References: CBE 99/1, CBE 99/5, BPC 2001/02

Effective date: 24/5/2006

Review date: 24/5/2009

Approved:

Warren Stalder
A/Manager, Bridge Technology
DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Engineering staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Engineering Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Manager, Asset Management Technology (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

Contact: Greg Forster
Section: Bridge Engineering
Telephone no: 8837 0850
File no: 94M3917
Circular Number: BPC2006/03

2 of 2
File: 94M3917
Initial:
Author's name: Ian R Hobson
Author's Phone: 02 8837 - 0820

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR

BPC2005/10

SUBJECT: REISSUE OF STANDARD BRIDGE DRAWINGS

No of Drawings Following 3 No. Appendix Sheets Following 0

A NEW BRIDGE NAME PLATE

Background
It has become increasingly important to identify when existing bridge assets have been
modified in any way.

Current Position
Although the RTA has a Name Plate for fixing to bridge assets where the structure has
been widened, it does not have a Bridge Name Plate for instances where a bridge asset has
been modified.

Action Required
With the exception of where a bridge structure is widened, when existing bridge assets are
modified in any way, a bridge name plate to denote that modification shall be shown on the
drawings and reference shall be given to Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB043C.

Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB043C is now released as Issue 1 November 2005.

CHANGES TO AN EXISTING STANDARD BRIDGE DRAWING

Errors have been detected on Standard Bridge Drawing No RTAB029 – Standard Notes.

The reference to both the grade of bar used for steel dowels and the Australian Standard
has been shown to be incorrect in 2 of the note cells – namely NSM and NPB.

The note cells have been amended to rectify this situation and Standard Bridge Drawing
No RTAB029 is now released as Issue 14 December 2005.

BPC 2005/10 Page 1 of 2
File: 94M3917
Initial:
Author's name: Ian R Hobson
Author's Phone: 02 8837 - 0820
The RTA Standard Bridge Drawing Cover Sheet has been revised to reflect the above and
it is now released as Issue 30 December 2005.

Gordon Chirgwin
Manager Bridge Policy, Standards & Records
Date

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Section staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of RTA Standard Bridge Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Project Manager Quality, SIS Section (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office

Note: 3 Standard Drawing sheets are attached to this circular. Please
refer to the relevant sheets of the current Standard Drawings.

BPC 2005/10 Page 2 of 2
File: 04M1835;3
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR
BPC2005/09

SUBJECT: Provision of disabled access for pedestrian bridges
No of Drawings Following 0 No of Appendix Sheets Following

Background
Recently there has been some confusion about the requirements for disabled access for
some pedestrian bridges designed to provide access to schools. The confusion arises as
the Building Code of Australia does not apply to bridges, and in Australian Bridge Design
Code of 1996, there were no specific clauses relating to disabled access. However
AS5100.1 Clause 9.11 states “Where a pedestrian access is required to cater for
wheelchairs and physically handicapped pedestrians, the requirements of AS1428.1 shall
be satisfied.” The Anti-Discrimination Act allows a concession where the provision of
disabled access would impose undue hardship on the provider of the facility.
AS5100 requires that bicycle path ramps have a maximum grade of 1 in 8, but AS1428.1
requires a maximum grade of 1 in 14, along with rest areas every 9m of length for
disabled access. This can become impractical when ramping to the height of a pedestrian
bridge and can require 100m or more in ramp length and may also not serve the needs of
the disabled user. The use of relatively flat ramps is also impractical where the existing
street grade is above the 1:14 required under AS1428.1. In such cases, steeper ramps
and lifts must be considered.

Policy
RTA bridgeworks must comply with AS5100, including disabled access as appropriate. In
some circumstances, physical constraints preclude the provision of suitable grades for
long distances on the approaches to the bridge. In such circumstances, the RTA makes
use of the ‘undue hardship’ provision of the act to install ramps no steeper than the
approach grades or 1:8, whichever is less, is considered acceptable. In such cases the
Project Manager, the Asset Manager, and the Manager Bridge Engineering must specifically
record agreement in the Bridge Design Proposal.

Application
This Policy applies to all new pedestrian bridge designs from the date of signature.

Action Required
Project Managers must determine the disabled access needs prior to design of pedestrian
bridges, and the practicality and lifecycle costs of the selected solution must be
considered in the design.

BPC2005-09 Page 1 of 2
File: 04M1835;3
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370
Project Managers, Bridge Designers, Design Reviewers, Project Verifiers and Principal’s
Representatives must make sure that design of pedestrian bridges conform to the
requirements of this Circular.

Gordon Chirgwin
Manager Bridge Policies, Standards &
Records
Date 30 Nov 2005
2004

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Section staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Section Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Project Manager Quality, ASS Section (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

BPC2005-09 Page 2 of 2
File: 04M1835;3
Initial: GJC:
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR
BPC2005/08

SUBJECT: Welding of Bridges
No of Drawings Following 0 No of Appendix Sheets Following

Background
For some time now, there have been significant quantities of unauthorised welding on
steel bridge structures, causing unplanned stress concentrations and potentially
introducing brittle regions in the steel. The stress concentrations may reduce the fatigue
life of the structure by many decades. The introduction of brittle zones in critical areas
can lead to sudden collapse.
Weld repairs can also reduce the inherent redundancy of other joint types such as bolting
or riveting.

Policy
Welding is not to be carried out on steel bridges without:
1. A full investigation of the structural materials
2. A detailed assessment of the risks of using welded repairs and attachments
3. The approval of the Manager, Bridge Engineering.
Assistance is available from Bridge Engineering in performing the necessary investigations,
preparing and approving weld procedures and training and qualifying welders.
Weld procedures must be prepared and qualification of the procedure and the welder
must be carried out in accordance with AS1554.

Application
This Policy applies to all welds (including fit-up and temporary attachment welds) on RTA
bridges from the date of signature.

BPC 2005/08 Page 1 of 2
File: 04M1835;3
Initial: GJC:
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370

Action Required
Project Managers, Bridge Designers, Design Reviewers, Project Verifiers and Principal’s
Representatives must make sure that any welding on steel bridges is approved by the
Manager, Bridge Engineering prior to any welding operation.

Gordon Chirgwin
Manager Bridge Policies, Standards &
Records
Date

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Section staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Section Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Project Manager Quality, ASS Section (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

BPC 2005/08 Page 2 of 2
File: 94M3917
Initial: GJC:pmc
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR

BPC 2005/06

SUBJECT: BIRD NESTING IN BRIDGE ABUTMENTS & BOX GIRDERS

No. Drawings Following 1 No. Appendix Sheets Following 0

Background
Large bridges normally contain void spaces in the bridge abutments to provide
inspection/maintenance access to the expansion joints and other parts of the structure. Open
apertures between the girders and the abutment enable the uncontrolled nesting of birds. The
presence of birds in these spaces together with their droppings presents an unacceptable OH&S
risk to staff undertaking inspection and/or maintenance activities.

Current Position
There is currently no bridge design requirement for the closure of these apertures and many
bridges have unrestricted access for birds into the abutment void and other parts of the
structure. In a number of cases, birds have nested in very large numbers and their nesting attracts
other vermin. Where apertures are closed to birds, closure has generally been performed post-
construction.

Action Required
Designers and Project Managers must ensure that, for box-girder bridges and other structures
with large void spaces, the design prevents any bird entry. The means used must be sufficiently
robust so that unauthorised removal is resisted. An appropriate design is attached to this circular

Gordon Chirgwin
Manager Bridge Policies Standards & Records
3 November 2005

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Section staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Section Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Project Manager Quality, ASS Section (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office

BPC 2005/06 page 1 of 2
File: 94M3917
Initial: GJC:pmc
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370

BPC 2005/06 page 2 of 2
File: 04M1835
Initial: GJC
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR

BPC2005/05
SUBJECT: USE OF STEEL FIBRE REINFORCED REACTIVE POWDER CONCRETE (‘DUCTAL’) IN
RTA WORKS
No. Sketches Following 0 No. Appendix Sheets Following 0

Background
Reactive powder concrete (RPC) is an all fines concrete developing compressive strength in excess of
160MPa. When combined with steel fines, direct tensile strength in excess of 12MPa and a flexural
strength in excess of 30MPa are possible. Prestressed concrete components made with RPC can be
less than one third the maximum of conventional concrete and are of comparable mass to similar
steel components.

RPC concrete also has extremely low porosity and permeability, high resistance to chloride and
sulphate attack, and high bond strength for both pre-tensioned and un-tensioned reinforcement. The
high bond strength reduces bond length for un-tensioned and pre-tensioned reinforcements, and also
reduces the transfer length for pre-tensioned reinforcement.

Bouyges of France was the first to develop RPC as a construction material.

Over the past 5 years, the RTA, VSL Australia and UNSW have developed and tested procedures
for the design and construction of bridges and related road structure from RPC. VSL developed a
RPC using Australian concrete materials, marketed as ‘Ductal’.

Until 2004, the only bridge structures built using RPC were pedestrian bridges. As part of the
development work, in 2003 and 2004 the UNSW, RTA and VSL designed and constructed the first
road bridge at Shepherds Creek, Valentine. This bridge used ‘Ductal’ in the pre-tensioned concrete
beams and permanent formwork for the deck slabs.

Load testing of the bridge showed that the superstructure performed linear-elastically up to 1.5 times
the serviceability load, and at this loading level there were no observable permanent effects.

When considered with additional testing at UNSW, the project demonstrates that:

1) Properly designed shear connectors will transmit very high shear forces;

2) Precast deck systems as thin as 80mm can be designed to resist a 140kN axle load with full
shear transfer between supporting beams and precast panels;

3) The design method contained in the VSL design manual for ‘Ductal’ are suitable for use
generally in RTA civil structures.

Australian Army tests show that ‘Ductal’ has very high blast resistance.

A specification for the use of ‘Ductal’ has been prepared.

BPC 2005/05 page 1 of 2
File: 04M1835
Initial: GJC
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370
Other Issues
At present, owing to the volume of work, and also owing to the high cementitious component,
‘Ductal’ is relatively expensive when compare to ordinary concretes. However, in cases where low
mass and high durability are critical issues, ‘Ductal’ may be cost competitive.

As ‘Ductal’ is fibre reinforced, fine fibres are often apparent at the un-formed surface and usually this
surface is not exposed. Where there is a risk of someone rubbing along the surface, a coating must
be applied to prevent injury.

Other features of ‘Ductal’
‘Ductal’ is highly resistant to blast and impact. As such, it is suitable for blast walls and noise walls
impact risk is high.

Policy
Designers may use ‘Ductal’ in future RTA bridge works and noise walls. Design must be in
accordance with the VSL design manual dated 19 March 2003 and the specification ‘Ductal’ works for
bridges held by Manager, Bridge Specification & Rehabilitation.

Design for blast resistant structures must be based on VSL recommendations and must be reviewed
by Manager, Bridge Policies, Standards & Records.

All project managers and designers for rehabilitation projects should consider ‘Ductal’ when
evaluating options for strengthening or replacing superstructures.

Gordon Chirgwin
Manager Bridge Policies, Standards & Records
8 September 2005

Note: ‘Ductal’ is a registered trademark of VSL Australia.

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Section staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Section Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Freedom of Information Manager (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Project Manager Quality, SIS Section (Electronic)
All BMP’s and BSO’s
SIC Contract Manager
Works Manager Bridges
Works Supervisors involved in Bridge Maintenance

BPC 2005/05 page 2 of 2
File: 04M1835
Initial: MB
Author's name: Mark Bennett
Author's Phone: 02 8837 0802

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR
BPC 2005/04_Rev1

SUBJECT: POT BEARING ATTACHMENT PLATES

No of Drawings 0 No of Appendix Sheets Following 0
Following

Background
There have been a number of cases where the method of installation of pot type bearings has
not enabled proper positioning of the bearing or easy replacement as required by AS5100.4.
There have also been cases where the design of the installation has not ensured that the
bearing forces are appropriately distributed either into the girder above or the substructure
below.
Attachment plates facilitate bearing replacement, allow the bearing to be more easily positioned
and assist in the dispersion of contact pressures. Tapered attachment plates are used to adjust
for the lack of parallelism between the contact interfaces due to longitudinal grade, cross fall
and hog or camber of the superstructure.

Policy
Pot bearings shall be installed with separate steel attachment plates above and below the pot
bearing.
The minimum mean thickness of attachment plates for pot bearings installed on road bridges
shall be 20 mm.
Attachment bolts shall connect the bearing to the attachment plates. Except as permitted in
AS5100.4, anchor bolts or dowels shall connect the attachment plates to the adjoining
structural elements.
Ensure that attachment and anchor bolts do not obstruct the movement and rotation of the
bearing and allow its removal and replacement. Attachment bolts shall be able to be removed
and replaced without lifting the bridge superstructure.
The maximum mean contact pressure between the attachment plate and the concrete contact
surface or the contact surface of a cement mortar pad at the ultimate limit state is 30 MPa.
For calculating contact pressures, compressive forces through elements of the bearing and any
attachment plate shall be assumed to disperse at 60º to the line of the force as shown in the
Figure below.

BPC 2005/04_Rev1 Page 1 of 2
File: 04M1835
Initial: MB
Author's name: Mark Bennett
Author's Phone: 02 8837 0802

60º
Top attachment plate

Bottom attachment plate

60º

Attachment bolts and anchorage dowels or bolts not shown

Bursting reinforcement in the concrete substrate above and below the bearing may be
required.
The maximum height of an unreinforced cement mortar pad is 50 mm.

Action Required
All and Project Managers and Designers are to ensure that this policy is implemented.

Revision 1

Mark Bennett Gordon Chirgwin
A/Principal Bridge Engineer Manager, Bridge Policies and Standards
Date: 18/11/2009 Date

DISTRIBUTION:
Publication on RTA’s Intranet and the Internet
The circulation list for the Bridge Technical Direction Manual
All Bridge Engineering Staff and Skill-Hire Contractors
Asset Managers, Bridge Maintenance Planners and Support Officers
Corporate Documentation Registrar
Manager, Road Information and Asset Management Technology
Manager, Project Management Office

BPC 2005/04_Rev1 Page 2 of 2
File: 94M3917
Initial: CJ
Author's name: Colyn Jones
Author's Phone: 02 8837 0803

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR
BPC2005/03

SUBJECT: INSTALLATION OF ELASTOMERIC BEARINGS FOR
PRETENSIONED CONCRETE GIRDERS – STANDARD DRAWINGS.

No of Drawings 3 No of Appendix Sheets Following 0
Following

Background

The actual hog of pretensioned concrete girders, such as Super “T” and “I” girders, often varies
significantly from the calculated values. Because elastomeric bearings for girders are generally
required to be placed level, problems have been encountered in methods use to accommodate
the actual girder hog.

Where methods (such as steel tapered plates) based on the calculated hog have been adopted
they have often proven to be unsatisfactory because of the difference between the actual and
calculated hogs. Such methods have often resulted in the unsatisfactory seating of the girders on
the elastomeric bearings. This unsatisfactory seating has resulted in contractual disputes and
maintenance problems and shortened bearing life.

The Bridge Policy Circular CBE 89/14 was issued to address this problem. There have been some
problems with each of the three methods given in this circular to overcome this problem.

Standard drawings have now been developed using a pre-moulded epoxy mortar pad which is
moulded based on the actual measured rather than the calculated girder hog. This method (which
was originally proposed by a Bridge Contractor) has proven successful and economic on a number
of bridge projects.

The use of these standard drawings involves the bridge designer calculating the corner thicknesses
of this pre-moulded epoxy mortar pad for a range of girder hogs. The Contractor can then readily
determine the corner thicknesses of the epoxy mortar pad from the actual hog.

Action Required
Bridge designers shall generally base the installation of elastomer bearings for pretensioned
concrete girders on the attached Standard Drawings RTA B033G and RTA B049 both Issue 1,
April 2005. However, an alternative method using keeper plates rather than a dowel to prevent
the elastomeric bearing pad from “walking” under traffic is also permissible.

BPC 2005/03 Page 1 of 2
File: 94M3917
Initial: CJ
Author's name: Colyn Jones
Author's Phone: 02 8837 0803

The Cover Sheet for the Bridge Section Standard Drawings set has been revised to reflect the
inclusion of the above standard drawings and is now released as Issue 26 April 2005.

Gordon Chirgwin
Manager, Bridge Policies and Standards
Date
DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Section staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Section Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Project Manager Quality, SIS Section (Electronic) Manager

Note: 3 Standard Drawing sheets are attached to this circular. Please
refer to the relevant sheets of the current Standard Drawings.

BPC 2005/03 Page 2 of 2
File: 94M3917
Initial: GJC:pmc
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR
BPC2004/11

SUBJECT: Strategies for enhancing the durability of
post-tensioned concrete bridges
No of Drawings Following 0 No of Appendix Sheets Following 4

Background
Post-tensioned concrete has been used in Australia for more than 50 years. Two
principal forms of post-tensioning are used – internal and external. Within these forms, a
number of variants exist. These are determined by construction method.
Recent overseas experience in aggressive environments has highlighted questions of
detailing of post-tensioned concrete structures to achieve suitable durability. In
particular, the state of Florida in the United States of America, following durability failures
in a number of pre-cast match-cast post-tensioned bridges, has adopted a multi-level
approach to designing post-tensioned structures for durability. A similar approach is
believed to be prudent for the RTA, as its coastal bridges are subject to a similar
environment to Florida.

Current Position
Current projects performed under Design, Construct and Maintain (DCM) contracts have
nominated the use of external post-tensioning for pre-cast post-tensioned segmental
concrete bridges. Some of the detailing is only suitable for benign environments.
Recent work by the Bridge Section of RTA to revise specifications and testing for post-
tensioning systems also provides the opportunity for a comprehensive statement on the
protection of post-tensioned bridges against failure due to corrosion.

Policy
The following strategies for the protection of post-tensioned bridges against failure due to
corrosion are to be adopted in accordance with Table 1 for the design of post-tensioned
concrete bridges, according to the applicable environmental classification and
post-tensioning system.

BPC 2004/11 Page 1 of 7
File: 94M3917
Initial: GJC:pmc
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370
Table 1
Protection strategies to be adopted for post-tensioned concrete bridges

Post- Protection Strategy
tensioning Environment
system 1 2 3 4 5

Benign Man. Opt. N/A Man. Man.
Internal
Aggressive Man. Man. N/A Man. Man.

Benign Man. Man. Man. Man. Opt.
External
Aggressive Man. Man. Man. Man. Man.
Key to Table: Man. – Mandatory – protection strategy must be used
Opt. – Optional – protection strategy may be used
N/A – Not applicable for this post-tensioning system

Classification of environment
For the purposes of this policy, a benign environment is one that is not in water or where
the exposure classification for the structural element (bridge superstructure, column,
footing) is from A to B1 inclusive as defined in AS 5100 Bridge design. An aggressive
environment is one that is in water or where the exposure classification is more severe
than B1.

Protection strategies
The following are regarded as effective strategies for the protection of post-tensioning
tendons and anchorages:
1. Filling of ducts, or sheathing, with properly applied protective grout;
or:
Using coated (galvanised or epoxy), or grease-filled and individually sheathed, tendons;
2. Containment in a non-corroding duct that has sufficient strength to withstand all the
construction processes and is effectively sealed against the ingress of moisture;
3. Replaceability of external tendons using existing anchorages and deviators;
4. Sealing of bridge deck and effective deck joint detailing;
5. Where erection is by match-cast segmental method, full epoxy coating of segment
joints.

BPC 2004/11 Page 2 of 7
File: 94M3917
Initial: GJC:pmc
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370
The requirements for each of the above protection strategies are given in the attached
Appendix.

Application
This Policy applies to all new bridge designs from the date of signature. This policy
applies to all bridges not yet constructed in aggressive environments except where
exempted by the General Managers, RNI Infrastructure Maintenance or Network
Development.

Action Required
Project Managers, Bridge Designers, Design Reviewers, Project Verifiers and Principal’s
Representatives must make sure that design and detailing of post-tensioned bridges
conform to the requirements of this Circular.

Gordon Chirgwin
Manager Bridge Policies, Standards &
Records
Date
DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Section staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Section Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Project Manager Quality, ASS Section (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office (Hard Copy and Electronic)

BPC 2004/11 Page 3 of 7
File: 94M3917
Initial: GJC:pmc
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370

Appendix
1. Encapsulating of tendons in protective grout or grease
Grout
Pending the revision of RTA B113 – Post-tensioning of Concrete, the following
requirements for grout and grouting procedures shall apply.
For grout to be effective, the grout must be a low bleed cementitious grout specially
formulated for the grouting process.
The duct must be tested under air pressure for leakage to at least 400 kPa.
Bleed points must be provided at the top face of anchorages, at all high points within the
duct, and 1.0 m to 2.0 m beyond each high point in the direction of grouting.
Drains must be provided at all low points as contingency injection points.
Injection points must be provided at the low points of the duct and at the lower points
of the anchorages.
All vents must be fitted with reusable metal valves to facilitate grouting and bleeding off.
All injection points must be fitted with pressure gauges to determine grouting pressures
in the ducts.
Grouting pressures observed at the grouting pump must only be used for operational
controls of grouting and not for determining grouting pressures in the ducts.
The grout must be injected from the lowest point of the duct. The duct must be grouted
until grout of the same consistency as that being injected flows from the bleed tube for at
least 5 seconds, as verified by flow cone measurements.
After initial grouting, the duct must be closed off at grouting pressures of up to 100 kPa
for at least 5 minutes before bleeding off the high points. The high point bleed tubes must
then be re-opened and bled successively in the direction of grouting using the least
possible fresh grout before closing off the duct vent valves.
Within 72 hours of the setting of the grout, the upper bleed holes and anchorage bleed
holes must be opened and the duct and anchorages checked for any voids in the grouting
at these locations. Any voids must be filled using suitable techniques.

Note: Some cracking of the anchorage diaphragm is likely and there is potential for a void at the
top of anchorages due to evaporation of bleed water following grouting.
Grease
Where grease is used for protection of tendon and/or anchorages the performance
requirements of the grease must comply with Table 2 of this Appendix. Spaces filled
with grease must be sealed used suitable O-ring seals.

BPC 2004/11 Page 4 of 7
File: 94M3917
Initial: GJC:pmc
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370
Coated or sheathed tendons
Individual strands may be epoxy coated or galvanised, as approved by the RTA.
Strands may also be protected by encapsulating in individual grease-filled plastic sheathing
conforming to RTA specification requirements.
Handling of these strands must be such that the protective coating or grease-filled
sheathing remains intact and effective after installation into the structure. Special
provisions and testing requirements may apply to ensure the effective gripping and
protection of the unprotected length of strands at the anchorages.

2. Containment in a non-corroding duct
For Exposure Classifications A and B1, galvanised corrugated steel ducts are adequate.
For more severe exposure classifications, only approved plastic ducts must be used.
Internal plastic ducts must be corrugated and mechanically attached to the anchorages.
External plastic ducts must be of smooth HDPE tube with a minimum wall thickness 1/17
of the tube diameter positively connected to suitable steel or plastic sleeves at
diaphragms and deviators.
Plastic duct design must account for creep rupture effects from the sustained
circumferential stresses induced by pressure grouting, if applicable.
Duct sleeves at deviators and through diaphragms must be designed to minimise bending
stresses and abrasion.
Ducts must be effectively sealed against moisture.
All tendon anchorages must be capped with permanent heavy-duty plastic caps filled with
suitable protective grout or grease.

3. Full tendon replacement
For full tendon replacement the following conditions apply:
1. The structure must be able to withstand the removal/loss of a tendon under
reduced live load;
2. Access to the stressing anchors for all operations must be provided without the
need to close traffic lanes for more than 48 hours for each tendon, or to require
the removal of any structural elements of the superstructure, abutments or piers;
3. The tendon must be fully destressable and replaceable with sufficient access and
clearances to allow the installation and stressing of the replacement tendon in
existing deviators and anchorages;
4. The Works as Executed Drawings must contain the design criteria for the
post-tensioning system used in the bridge, as well as full construction details and
procedures for destressing and replacing tendons, including any limitations on
structure loading during tendon replacement operations.

BPC 2004/11 Page 5 of 7
File: 94M3917
Initial: GJC:pmc
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370
4. Sealing and drainage of bridge deck and deck joint detailing
Waterproofing of the concrete bridge deck in accordance with the RTA Bridge Policy
Manual requirements is deemed to satisfy these requirements where:
1. The structure is in a benign environment.
2. The prestressing tendons are contained within the webs of the girders or within
the void space of the superstructure;
3. All jointing of ducts between segments is positively sealed using approved duct
couplers.
Where the structure is in an environment that is aggressive, waterproofing of the
concrete bridge deck must be provided in accordance with the RTA Bridge Policy Manual,
and the following:
a. Anchorages at deck joints must be located in blisters at least 500 mm away from
the deck joint face.
b. The design must detail specific deck drainage provisions.
c. A stainless steel drainage trough must be fitted under all deck joints to prevent
seepage through deck joints running down the face of the anchorage diaphragms.

d. The grout cap at the anchorage and adjacent face of anchorage diaphragms must
be coated with a waterproof membrane and suitable drip catches provided to
prevent deck runoff seepage through any link slabs and deck joints from infiltrating
the post-tensioning anchorage and the grout cap.
Drainage outlets must be provided in box girders.

5. Full epoxy coating of match-cast segment joints

Sealing of match cast joints must be carried out using an approved wet epoxy paste
spread evenly over all of the mating surfaces at the time of erection, and applying post-
tensioning across the joints before the epoxy has initially hardened.

BPC 2004/11 Page 6 of 7
File: 94M3917
Initial: GJC:pmc
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370

Table 2

Performance Criteria for Grease/Wax for Post-Tensioning
Property Grease Wax Comments
Test Requirement Test Requirement
Method* Method*
Consistency D217 265-340 dmm D937 150-350 dmm Application
compatibility to
Pumpability D1092 100-200 cP at D445 15-25 cSt @ be confirmed
25ºC & 25 s-1 99ºC
Corrosion protection D1743 Pass D1743 Pass Test substrate to
be advised.
Copper corrosiveness D4048 1a D130 1a
Salt Spray corrosion B117 1000h B117 1000h
Oil separation maximum D1742 3% FTMS 791C 0.5%
Drop pt. minimum D566 150°C D127 90°C
Flash pt. minimum D92 Flash Pt.: 200°C D92 Flash Pt.: 200°C
Evaporation maximum D972 0.5% D972 0.5%

*Test methods are ASTM unless noted otherwise.

BPC 2004/11 Page 7 of 7
File: 94M3917
Initial: CJ
Author's name: Colyn Jones
Author's Phone: 02 8837 0803

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR
BPC2004/10

SUBJECT: BRIDGE APPROACH SLABS - STANDARD DRAWINGS

No of Drawings 8 No of Appendix Sheets Following 0
Following

Background

It has been common practice for many years for the RTA to use approach slabs on bridges.

Their use minimises the effect of any bump at the ends of bridges due to the approach
embankment settling and also reduces horizontal pressures on the abutment due to live load
surcharge.

Recently, expensive remedial measures have been necessary on a number of bridges due to
inappropriate approach slab design and detailing.

Because of this, and also to act as a means of continually improving approach slab design and
detailing, the attached standard drawings have been developed for approach slabs.

Standard drawings for a 3m approach slab length and for a 6m length have been developed. The
3m length is intended for low foundation and embankment settlements and the 6m length for
medium settlements. For high settlements an approach slab length of more than 6m is necessary.

The boundary between low and medium settlements, and between medium and high settlements
shall be taken as an estimated total foundation and embankment ultimate settlement of 300 mm
and 600mm respectively.

Action Required
Approach slabs shall be used on all RTA bridges unless there are special circumstances.

BPC 2004/10 Page 1 of 2
File: 94M3917
Initial: CJ
Author's name: Colyn Jones
Author's Phone: 02 8837 0803

The design and detailing of bridge approach slabs shall be in accordance with the attached standard
drawings (ie RTA Bridge Section Standard Drawings No.s RTAB049A Issue1 November 2004 to
RTAB049H Issue 1 November 2004 inclusive) except for very soft foundation conditions (as
defined above) where the approach slab shall be custom designed.

Gordon Chirgwin
Manager, Bridge Policies and Standards
Date
DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Section staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Section Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Project Manager Quality, SIS Section (Electronic) Manager

Note: 8 Standard Drawing sheets are attached to this circular. Please
refer to the relevant sheets of the current Standard Drawings.

BPC 2004/10 Page 2 of 2
File: 94M3917
Initial: GJC:pmc
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR
BPC2004/09
SUBJECT: Policy Circulars made Redundant by AS 5100:2004
No of Drawings Following 0 No of Appendix Sheets Following 0

Background
Approval to the use of AS 5100:2004 – Bridge Design makes some previous RTA design
policies redundant.

Current Position
Crack Control in Girders and Slabs
AS 5100:2004 includes explicit requirements for the design of reinforcement for the
control of cracking and, in particular, cover the situations of fully restrained slabs and
bending in beams. CBE Circular 80/10 is, therefore, redundant.
In interpreting the new Code provisions (AS 5100.5 Section 8 Clause 6 and Section 9
Clause 4) the following must be applied:
• Deck slabs forming part of a continuous composite girder are to be considered as
fully restrained and in pure tension over the region of negative bending
• Link slabs are to be considered to be fully restrained and in pure tension
• Deck slabs on Super-T, PSC Plank and similar structures must be considered to be
fully restrained in the transverse direction.
The quantity of reinforcement shown in the design must not be less than that shown in
the Bridge Section Standard Drawings for that type of deck.

Development Length of Prestressing Strand
The issue described in CBE Circular 96/3 has been corrected in AS 5100.5. Hence the
circular is redundant.

500 Grade Steel Reinforcement
AS 5100.5 incorporates the requirements of 500 Grade Steel Reinforcement. BPC
2002/11 is therefore redundant.

BPC 20004/09 page 1 of 2

G:\Road and Bridge Technology\Bridge Policy Manual\manuals\bpolicy.man\Approved Policies\BPC2004-09.doc
File: 94M3917
Initial: GJC:pmc
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370
Action Required
Circulars CBE 80/10, CBE 96/3 and BPC 2002/11 are withdrawn.
When designing for crack control to AS 5100.5, the interpretation given above must be
used. Project Managers and Design Managers must ensure that the provision described
above are used.

Gordon J Chirgwin
Manager Bridge Policy, Standards &
Records
Date 16 September 2004

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Section staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Section Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Project Manager Quality, ASS Section (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office

BPC 20004/09 page 2 of 2

G:\Road and Bridge Technology\Bridge Policy Manual\manuals\bpolicy.man\Approved Policies\BPC2004-09.doc
File: 94M3917
Initial: GJC:pmc
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR

BPC 2004/08

SUBJECT: INSPECTION OF MODULAR BRIDGE EXPANSION
JOINTS AND CONTROL OF NOISE

No. Drawings Following 0 No. Appendix Sheets Following 0

Background
Large modular bridge expansion joints are known to contribute to environmental noise due to an
interaction between the vibrational modes of the joint and the acoustic modes of the abutment
cavity below the joint. Past bridge designs have not allowed for the installation of effective noise
abatement systems, and have also ignored the requirements for inspection and maintenance of
these large expansion joints.

Current Position
RNI funded R&D Project R99-B003 resulted in the development of a noise abatement solution to
the environmental noise associated with modular bridge expansion joints. This solution utilises a
Helmholtz Absorber and its installation can reduce noise emissions by up to 10 dBA. A reduction
of 10 dBA is equivalent to a halving of the perceived loudness of the noise.

A Helmholtz Absorber is approximately 600 mm deep and for its installation an additional 600
mm needs to be provided between the long walls of the abutment cavity, in addition to the space
needed for inspection and maintenance of the joint.

Action Required
Designers and Project Managers must ensure that all abutments underneath modular bridge
expansion joints have sufficient space within the abutment cavity if the installation of a Helmholtz
Absorber for noise abatement is required after post commissioning noise measurements identify
an actual or likely noise nuisance. The Helmholtz Absorber may cover all of one long wall of the
abutment cavity. Sufficient space must also be provided for inspection and maintenance of the
joint.

Gordon Chirgwin
Manager, Bridge Policies, Standards &
Records
16 September 2004
DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Section staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Section Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Project Manager Quality, ASS Section (Electronic)
Manager, Project Management Office
BPC 2004/08 page 1 of 1
G:\Road and Bridge Technology\Bridge Policy Manual\manuals\bpolicy.man\Approved Policies\BPC2004-08.doc
File: 94M3917
Initial: GJC:pmc
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR

BPC 2003/08

SUBJECT: Bridge Screens

No. Drawings Following 0 No. Appendix Sheets Following 0

Background
Over the last ten years, there has been a significant and increasing incidence of objects
being thrown form overbridges onto traffic below. This has resulted in at least one death, a
number of serious injuries and damage to vehicles.

Current Position
In 2002, the RTA adopted a policy for safety screening of bridges where the risk from
objects being thrown onto traffic was excessive. This policy was issued as a Technical
Direction (TD 2002 / RS02) by Road Safety and Road User Management Directorate.

Action Required
Project Managers for all designs of new bridges are to assess the need for safety screens in
accordance with the requirements of the Technical Direction. Designers are to use the
guidelines given in Appendix A of the Direction.

Copies of TD 2002 / RS02 are available from the RTA internet site (search ‘bridge
screening’).

The provisions of TD 2002/ RS02
apply unless overwritten by
Clause 12.3 of AS 5100.1.
Gordon Chirgwin
Manager Bridge Policies & Standards
Date

DISTRIBUTION:
All Bridge Section staff and Skill Hire Contractors
All registered holders of controlled copies of Bridge Section Standard Drawing sets
All holders of controlled copies of the Bridge Policy Manual
Corporate Document Registrar (Hard Copy and Electronic)
Project Manager Quality, ASS Section (Electronic)
Bridge Construction Service Manager, Project Management Office
All Bridge Maintenance Planners and Bridge Support Officers (Electronic)

BPC 03/08 page 1 of 1
G:\Road and Bridge Technology\Bridge Policy Manual\manuals\bpolicy.man\Approved Policies\BPC2003-08.doc
File: 94M3917
Initial: GJC:pmc
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR

BPC 2003/07

SUBJECT: BRIDGE MAINTENANCE PILING WORKS

No. Drawings Following 0 No. Appendix Sheets Following 0

Background

It is a common bridge maintenance activity, particularly on timber bridges, to replace piles
or strengthen the substructure using piles replicating the original pile details.

Traditionally, such bridge maintenance piling works have often had little design control,
even if the new piles resulted in significant design modifications to the piers and
abutments. Geotechnical investigations have rarely been carried out. Pile driving criteria
have rarely been provided, other than to match the existing contract levels (e.g. as marked
on the existing piles).

Furthermore, new timber piles have been driven in close proximity or even in contact with
the existing piles. Because driven timber piles are displacement piles, damage and other
problems can result from interference of the new with the old piles. Loss of capacity may
also occur due to pile group effects (depending on spacing). The new piles need to be
driven clear of the old piles, including the buried stubs of old piles.

Current Position

A standard RTA policy is required for bridge maintenance piling works, consistent with
the Australian Bridge Design Code (ABDC), also known as ’92 AUSTROADS Bridge
Design Code (amended 1996), and AS 2159 Piling – Design and Installation.

Limits need to be placed on pile spacing, to minimise both the risks associated with driving
piles in close proximity and with group effects on load capacity. These limits should be
consistent with ABDC and AS 2159 requirements for displacement piles.

Significant structural modifications to bridges need to be supported by certified structural
designs, including geotechnical investigations as appropriate. These should be fully
documented by registered design sketches and works as executed drawings, with these
records kept permanently.

Action Required

The following policy is to be adopted:

1. All bridge maintenance piling works and all significant structural modifications to
bridges must be in accordance with a structural design, or instructions, certified by
a structural engineer experienced in bridge design.

BPC 2003/07 page 1 of 2
File: 94M3917
Initial: GJC:pmc
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370
BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR

BPC 2003/06

SUBJECT: TIMBER TRUSS CROSS GIRDER REPLACEMENTS

No. Drawings Following 0 No. Appendix Sheets Following 0

Background
The Draft Timber Bridge Manual (TBM) was issued in September 2002 to provide interim
guidance on timber bridge maintenance practices.
For timber trusses, adequate temporary structural support is critical to ensure structural
integrity is maintained during repairs, even if the bridge is closed to traffic.
Sections 3.5.1 to 3.5.4 of the TBM (concerning replacement of cross girders and truss
components) do not highlight the need for full temporary support to be provided to the
entire truss, during replacement of the main panel point cross girders (on Old PWD and
McDonald trusses) or replacement of any cross girder (on De Burgh trusses).
A standard policy, consistent with the forthcoming MB001 Timber Truss Repairs
Specification, is needed to clarify when a temporary truss support system (i.e. Bailey truss
support or equivalent) is necessary for cross girder replacements on timber trusses.

Current Position
The standard policy for replacement of timber truss components, to be specified in the
forthcoming MB001 Timber Truss Repairs Specification, is that full temporary truss
support must be provided and the dead load of the truss span transferred to the truss
support system before any timber truss components can be replaced.
On Old PWD, McDonald and DeBurgh trusses, the timber cross girders at panel points are
directly connected into the truss. Therefore, to replace those cross girders with new timber
cross girders (“like-for-like”) would require partial dismantling and weakening of the truss.
On Allan and Dare trusses, the cross girders are attached independently of the main truss
and can be safely replaced without dismantling of the truss. However, the temporary
removal of lateral braces during replacement of sway cross girders at panel points reduces
the lateral stability of both trusses and this needs to be controlled.

Action Required
The following policy is to be adopted for cross girder replacements on timber trusses:
1. On Old PWD and McDonald truss spans, full temporary truss support is required to
both trusses during the replacement of any main cross girder at a panel point.
The trusses are to be picked up using supplementary longitudinal members attached
to the intermediate cross girders. The intermediate cross girders shall be attached
to the truss bottom chords.
On these truss spans the intermediate cross girders between the panel points may be
replaced without temporary truss support.
BPC 2003/06 page 1 of 2
G:\Road and Bridge Technology\Bridge Policy Manual\manuals\bpolicy.man\Approved Policies\BPC2003-06.doc
File: 94M3917
Initial: GJC:gjc
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR

BPC2003/04

SUBJECT: Use of Proprietary Expanded Metal Construction Joints and Shear
Keys

No. Drawings Following 0 No. Appendix Sheets Following 1 0

Background
Construction joints are an integral feature of reinforced and prestressed concrete construction for
bridgeworks.
The requirements for construction joints are specified in Clause 7.8 of RTA B80, as follows:
“The surface of concrete at construction joints shall be deliberately roughened to a pronounced
profile with a surface roughness not less than 3 mm. Loose aggregate particles and laitance shall
be removed. Prior to placing the adjoining concrete, the surface of the construction joint and the
projecting reinforcement shall be washed clean, and the concrete surface saturated with water
conforming to the requirements of this Specification for water used in concrete, following which all
excess water and loose material shall be removed.
Salt or other contamination of the joint surface and reinforcement in marine or aggressive
environments, shall be removed by using high pressure water. Temporary openings in formwork
shall be provided to allow contaminated water to be removed.”
These requirements ensure that:
1. the fresh concrete will have aggregate interlock with the old concrete;
2. the fresh concrete will develop a good chemical bond with the old concrete;
3. the cover to reinforcement and embedments is maintained; and
4. there is no contamination of the concrete that might induce corrosion.
Recently, two Contractors, one in a Design, Construct and Maintain contract and the other in a Lump
Sum contract, used a proprietary expanded metal product to form construction joints. Whilst this
type of construction joint has a number of advantages for the contractor, there is significant potential
for adverse long term effects to the structure. There is also a need for the installation to be properly
controlled.
These devices were designed for the building industry, where design life is nominally 50 years, where
much of the concrete is in Exposure Classification A with little moisture present and where loading is
essentially static. However, they are not suitable for use under more severe exposure conditions,
greater design lives nor for high cyclic live loadings.
An expanded metal product, such as that depicted in the photograph below, may induce corrosion
failures and shear failures if not properly used. There is concern that the concrete behind the
expanded metal sheet may be left in a honeycombed state due to the escape of cement slurry
through the mesh of the expanded metal. In this case, the designer would need to be satisfied that
the available aggregate interlock is sufficient for shear transfer. The designer would also need to be
satisfied that the expanded metal products are suitable for the exposure conditions on site.

BPC 2003/04 page 1 of 3
File: 94M3917
Initial: GJC:gjc
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370

Expanded metal mesh construction joint.

The use of such devices in construction joints does not eliminate the need for proper preparation of
the concrete surface in accordance with RTA B80. In particular, the cover concrete still must have
laitance removed so that the bond of the new concrete to the old is achieved in the cover zone.
Any mortar slurry that passes through the device must also be fully removed, so that the shear
capacity of the joint is not impaired.
Shear key devices raise similar durability issues to the expanded metal construction joint devices.
They have, in general, been developed for the building industry and are detailed on the assumption
that the environment is benign and that loading is essentially static.
It is false economy to risk the failure of a bridge deck costing a hundred thousand dollars due to poor
shear transfer or corrosion at a construction joint to save a few hundred dollars during construction.

Current RTA Position
The use of proprietary products, such as expanded metal construction joints and proprietary shear
key systems require careful consideration of all aspects of the system installation and long term
performance.
Expanded metal construction joints are not suitable for use in RTA bridge and structural works
because of the long term durability risks.
Other proprietary construction joint systems need careful evaluation by technical experts before use.
Proprietary shear key systems may only be used where it can be demonstrated that they will have
satisfactory long term performance, taking into consideration the durability requirements of the
structure.

BPC 2003/04 page 2 of 3
File: 94M3917
Initial: GJC:pmc
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR

BPC 2003/03

BITUMINOUS SURFACINGS FOR TIMBER BRIDGE DECKS

No. Drawings Following 0 No. Appendix Sheets Following 1

Background
The RTA has two principal types of timber bridge decks:
1. Traditional timber cross decking with longitudinal running sheeting (TD); and
2. Stress Laminated Timber plate (SLT) decks.

TD decks cannot be sealed to ensure durability, but the application of a sprayed bituminous
surfacing will reduce the wear of the timber and provide an improved frictional surface for
traffic.

SLT decks require a waterproofing membrane below a wearing surface to ensure durability
of the deck and an appropriate frictional surfacing for traffic.

Bituminous surfacing treatments are not generally suitable for use in areas of braking traffic –
even where aggregate “scatter coats” are used to provide surface protection for the seal in
early life.

This circular provides advice on the selection of appropriate treatments for use on timber
bridge decks.

Action Required

TD
The application of a wearing surface to TD decks in not mandatory, but is highly
recommended. The appropriate surfacing for TD decks is a bituminous spray seal applied in
accordance with RTA QA Specification B351. Further guidance on the design of these seals
is provided in the Guide Notes to the specification.

SLT
SLT decks shall be waterproofed and a wearing surface applied

For new SLT decks, the Drawings shall show the waterproofing system and bituminous
surfacing selected from Appendix 1.

Where a sprayed polymer modified bituminous membrane (SPMBM) is used for the
waterproofing system, the membrane shall be applied in accordance with RTA B351.

BPC 2003/03 page 1 of 3
File: 94M3917

Appendix 1

BPC 2003/03
Selection of Waterproofing System for Stress
Laminated Timber Bridge Decks
System Details Use
SPMBM/DGA or SPMBM with 10 mm cover aggregate High traffic or high braking or
BM/DGA/GGA and nominal 70 mm DGA or high turning areas. GGA
DGA/GGA protection. Asphalt should only be used where
thickness allows for correction course warranted by traffic.
SPMBM/Sprayed Double double sprayed seal. First layer Where asphaltic concrete is
Seal consists of SPMBM with 14 mm cover uneconomic. Not to be
aggregate. Second layer consists of used for high traffic or high
unmodified bituminous sprayed seal braking areas.
with 7 mm cover aggregate.

Total thickness 14 mm. Deck joints
should be set 15 mm higher to
accommodate the seals.
Sheet membranes Acceptable torch applied bituminous Areas warranting Sprayed
and polymer sheet membrane or polymer liquid SPMBM/DGA or
liquid membranes membrane with 70 mm of DGA or SPMBM/DGA/GGA where
with DGA or DGA/GGA protection. Membrane construction timing precludes
DGA/GGA thickness 5 mm. the use of sprayed SPMBM.

A levelling course of hot sprayed Note: These systems are
bitumen or bitumen emulsion with sand expensive compared with all
cover is required for bituminous sheet other systems
membranes where the deck has a
textured surface.

Details of acceptable membranes shall
be obtained from Manager, Bridge
Specification and Rehabilitation, Bridge
Section.

BM – Bituminous Membrane
DGA – Dense Graded Asphaltic Concrete
GGA - Gap Graded Asphaltic Concrete
SPMBM – Sprayed Polymer Modified Bituminous Membrane Seal – See RTA QA
Specification B351 for details.

BPC 2003/03
File: 94M3917
Initial: GJC:pmc
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 8814 2370

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR

BPC 2003/02

WATERPROOFING MEMBRANES FOR CONCRETE
BRIDGE DECKS

No. Drawings Following 0 No. Appendix Sheets Following 1

Background
Concrete bridge decks are not waterproof. A number of bridge decks have cracked
prematurely due to shrinkage. In the long term, corrosion of the reinforcing steel in the deck
slab can occur. Similarly, leakage through cracked decks can cause corrosion of the steel or
concrete elements supporting the deck, such as the troughs or boxes of larger structures.
These durability failures can be prevented by the use of an appropriate waterproofing
membrane over the deck slab.

Cracking of the deck slab due to poor design, such as inadequate reinforcement, or poor
construction practices, such as inadequate compaction of the concrete, may lead to
structural failures that cannot be prevented by waterproofing the deck slab.

Current Position

CBE 99/16 detailed bituminous membranes suitable for waterproofing bridge decks.
Recently, the specification for sprayed bituminous membranes has been revised. Other
types of non-bituminous waterproofing membranes have been considered and assessed for
use.

Action Required
A waterproofing membrane and bituminous surfacing shall be used on the deck slabs of all
bridges, except modular bridges.

The Drawings shall show that a waterproofing membrane is required.

Bituminous waterproofing membranes and wearing surfaces shall be selected from
Appendix 1.

Sprayed polymer modified bituminous membranes (SPMBM’s) shall conform to RTA QA
Specification B344.

Other membranes shall be referred to the Manager, Bridge Specification & Rehabilitation for
review.

BPC 2003/02 page 1 of 3
File: 94M3917

Appendix 1

BPC 2003/02

Selection of Waterproofing System for Concrete Bridge Decks

System Details Use
SPMBM/DGA or SPMBM with 10 mm cover aggregate High traffic or high braking or
BM/DGA/GGA and nominal 70 mm DGA or high turning areas. GGA
DGA/GGA protection. Asphalt should only be used where
thickness allows for correction course warranted by traffic.
SPMBM/Sprayed Double double sprayed seal. First layer Where asphaltic concrete is
Seal consists of SPMBM with 14 mm cover uneconomic.
aggregate. Second layer consists of
unmodified bituminous sprayed seal
with 7 mm cover aggregate.

Total thickness 14 mm. Deck joints
should be set 15 mm higher to
accommodate the seals.
Sheet membranes Acceptable torch applied bituminous Areas warranting Sprayed
and polymer sheet membrane or polymer liquid BM/DGA or BM/DGA/GGA
liquid membranes membrane with 70 mm of DGA or where construction timing
with DGA or DGA/GGA protection. Membrane precludes the use of sprayed
DGA/GGA thickness 5 mm. BM.

A levelling course of hot sprayed Note: These systems are
bitumen or bitumen emulsion with sand expensive compared with all
cover is required for bituminous sheet other systems
membranes where the deck has a
textured surface.

Details of acceptable membranes shall
be obtained from Manager, Bridge
Specification and Rehabilitation, Bridge
Section.

BM – Bituminous Membrane
DGA – Dense Graded Asphaltic Concrete
GGA - Gap Graded Asphaltic Concrete
SPMBM – Sprayed Polymer Modified Bituminous Membrane – See RTA QA
Specification B344 for details.

BPC 2003/02
File: 94M3917
Initial: GJC:GJC
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 9662 5791

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR

BPC2002/05

SUBJECT: BRIDGE CONCEPT

No. Sketches Following 0 No. Appendix Sheets Following 9 6

Background
In the past the RTA had a system for ensuring that all bridge concept designs were
considered by both experts in bridge engineering and the local manager to ensure that the
bridge would fulfil its function at an acceptable cost. In the early 1990’s, this system fell
from use, with increasing decentralisation of the Authority and changes in the authority
exercised by Project Managers. Unfortunately, this has sometimes meant that long term
aspects of the asset ownership have not been fully explored. In some instances,
inappropriate designs and designs not conforming to RTA policies and standards have been
constructed.

In such cases, the RTA may be left with a structure that does not perform adequately and
has high ownership costs.

Current Position
It is important that the collective bridge design and bridge maintenance knowledge in the
RTA is utilised to ensure the best life cycle outcomes in bridgeworks. It has been also
recognised that Project Managers and Asset Managers need more support in their decision-
making, to ensure that the outcomes of projects are the most appropriate, and to also ensure
that innovative solutions are applied in full knowledge of the risks involved.

To this end, it is considered important that project managers and asset managers avail
themselves of advice and support in their decision making in regard to designs for new and
replacement bridges and related structures. This will ensure that the outcomes of projects
are the most appropriate. In addition, is will ensure that innovative solutions are reviewed
in terms of their suitability and of the risks involved

Bridge Section of RTA has a formal process for ensuring that the design has appropriate
comment from the Project Manager and the relevant Asset Manager and experts within
Asset Management Branch through the Project Manager. It has been decided to make this
process mandatory for all projects, regardless of the method of procurement.

BPC 2002/05 page 1 of 2
Document RTA TB-DF062 RTA File No.:
(Issue 8 1 Aug 2001) ROADS AND TRAFFIC AUTHORITY, NSW
BRIDGE DESIGN PROPOSAL - SUMMARY AND APPROVALS

Project No.: Sketch No.:

RTA Region:
Road No.: Local Government Area:
Project:
REASON FOR NEW BRIDGE:

PROPOSED BRIDGE

Number and Length of spans: Overall Length: m
Bridge width: Between traffic barriers m Overall: m
Number of footways: Width: m Side:
Type of wearing surface:
Superstructure:
Substructure:
Clearances:
Special Features and requirements:

ALIGNMENT
Horizontal Alignment: Straight/Curved Bearing ° ' " Radius m Skew ° ' " L/R

Vertical Alignment Grade: Summit/Sag Curve: m

Datum:

Chainages at end of deck: Abutment A Abutment B

Levels at end of deck: Abutment A Abutment B

Source of horizontal and vertical alignment information:
(eg: Bridge Site Survey Drg No, Moss File etc)
ESTIMATED COST AND PROGRAMME
Estimated construction cost* = Deck area** m2 x estimated unit rate $/m2
= x =$

* Cost does not include any allowances for design, supervision or cost variations
** Deck Area measured between bottom faces of parapets + clear footway width
Recommended Concurrence Submitted Approved

Mgr Bridge Design Projects Mgr, Bridge Engineering RTA Project Manager Mgr, Bridge Engineering
***Consultant’s Rep *** Consultant’s Director *** RTA Regional Mgr
Date: Date: Date: Date:
*** Other than RTA Bridge Branch in-house or managed designs
Document RTA TB-DF062 RTA File No.:
(Issue 8 1 Aug 2001) ROADS AND TRAFFIC AUTHORITY, NSW
Sheet 2 of 6
BRIDGE DESIGN PROPOSAL

Project No.: Sketch No.:

EXISTING BRIDGE
Drawing No.: General File No.:
Year Constructed:
Type of substructure:

Type of superstructure:

Width between parapets or kerbs: m Footways:

Length: m Number of spans:
Deck level RL: Above H.F.L.: Yes/No Navigation Clearance:

Condition (incl. any load rating):

Proposed future use of existing bridge:
Public Utility Services: (No off, size and type)

CLEARANCES
Horizontal: Actual m from
Required m
Vertical: Actual m above
Required m
APPROACH
ES
Road Plans No. (or File No.):
Design Speed: km/hr

No. of Lanes:
Median Width: m
Shoulder Widths: m
Verge Width: m
Formation Width: m
Document RTA TB-DF062 RTA File No.:
(Issue 8 1 Aug 2001) ROADS AND TRAFFIC AUTHORITY, NSW
Sheet 3 of 6
BRIDGE DESIGN PROPOSAL

Project No.: Sketch No.:

WATERWAY
WATERWAY REPORT No: Date:
General Comments:

2
Catchment Area km Observed H.F.L. (Date: ) m
3
Calculated Discharge m /s Normal Water Level m
Calculated Flow Velocity m/s Tidal Yes/No MHWS MLWS
Calculated H.F.L. m Is stream navigable Yes/No m
(including afflux of) m Estimated Depth of Scour

Proposed Clearance: m above observed/calculated H.F.L

SUBSTRUCTURE

GEOTECHNICAL REPORT No. Date

Geotechnical Investigation completed Yes/No

Further Geotechnical Investigation Required Yes/No

FOUNDATIONS
Founding material:
Type of foundations: Abutments:
(Spread footings
or
pile type) Piers:

Allowable Bearing Pressure: kPa

Maximum Pile Working Loads: Abutment Piles kN
Pier Piles kN

Pile Cap Levels: RL

Pile Contract Levels: Abut A RL Abut B RL
Piers RL

Basis for determination of Contract Levels and type of foundations:

OHS Factors considered in selecting type of foundation:
Document RTA TB-DF062 RTA File No.:
(Issue 8 1 Aug 2001) ROADS AND TRAFFIC AUTHORITY, NSW
Sheet 4 of 6
BRIDGE DESIGN PROPOSAL

Project No.: Sketch No.:

SUPERSTRUCTURE:
Type of Superstructure:

No. of Spans: Span Lengths:

Reason for Selection:

OHS Factors considered in selection of Superstructure type:

DESIGN LOADINGS (Assume Aust. Bridge Design Code unless stated otherwise)
Live Loading: - No. 3.1m of design lanes
- Standard loading:
- SM1600 loading: Yes/No
- Heavy load Platform:
- Footway loading:
- Construction loading:
- Other loading:

Superimposed Dead Load:
Temperature - Range: °C
- Gradient °C

Design Wind Speed: m/s
Differential Settlement:
Mining Subsidence Parameters:
Stream Flow Effects:
Impact Loads - Part of the structure:
- Ship / Vehicle / Train

Earthquake Loading Acceleration Coefficient:

Other Loadings:

ARTICULATION
Method of Resisting Longitudinal Forces:
Method of Resisting Transverse Forces:

Longitudinal Movements (mm): (+ve opening, -ve closing):
Temperature:
Creep and Shrinkage:
Mine Subsidence:

Expansion Joints:
Number:
Location:
Type:
Bearings:
Location:
Number:
Type:
Document RTA TB-DF062 RTA File No.:
(Issue 8 1 Aug 2001) ROADS AND TRAFFIC AUTHORITY, NSW
Sheet 5 of 6
BRIDGE DESIGN PROPOSAL

Project No.: Sketch No.:

PROVISIONS FOR PUBLIC UTILITY SERVICES ON THE PROPOSED BRIDGE:
Water Sewer Gas Electricity Telstra Other
Number

Size

Side

DRAINAGE: Scuppers Yes/No
If no scuppers, is width of flow contained in Yes/No
shoulder
Piped stormwater under deck necessary Yes/No

LIGHTING: Yes/No

BARRIER TYPES:
Traffic:

Pedestrian:

Median:

Between carriageway and footway:

Safety Screens:

Noise Walls:

DURABILITY

Exposure Classification:
Soil/Water Aggressivity:

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS (add attachments summarizing relevant requirements if yes)

Environmental (eg EIS, REF): Yes/No

Fisheries: Yes/No

Heritage: Yes/No

Navigation (MSB, DPW): Yes/No

Planning (DUAP): Yes/No

Other: Yes/No

Has Pier and Abutment position been pegged: Yes/No

Is more pegging required: Yes/No
Document RTA TB-DF062 RTA File No.:
(Issue 8 1 Aug 2001) ROADS AND TRAFFIC AUTHORITY, NSW
Sheet 6 of 6

BRIDGE DESIGN PROPOSAL

Project No.: Sketch No.:

CONCURRENCES

Concurrence in Road Design Aspects:.

………………………
RTA Project Manager

Has Risk Assessment been done?: Yes/No

If no Risk Assessment, is one required?: Yes/No

……………………………….
RTA Regional Asset Manager

Concurrence with Asset Management Aspects:

- Bridge Design
- Road Design

……………………………………….
Manager, Road & Bridge Technology
Asset Management Branch
Client Services Directorate
File: 94M3917
Initial: GJC:pmc
Author's name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author's Phone: 02 9662 5791

BRIDGE POLICY CIRCULAR

BPC2002/02

SUBJECT: MAXIMUM CONCRETE STRENGTHS FOR USE IN RTA
WORKS

No. Sketches Following 0 No. Appendix Sheets Following 0

Background
The 92 Austroads Bridge Design Code Section 5 concrete has a maximum design strength
for concrete 50MPa. The RTA specification concrete works for bridges contains the
provision limiting the maximum supplied strength of concrete to 80MPa. The maximum
limit of 80MPa was chosen to prevent the possibility of unintended brittle failures within
the concrete member at ultimate load when the concrete member had been only designed
for maximum strength 50MPa concrete.

The brittle failure of concrete of strengths around 100 MPa and greater has the potential to
reduce the reliability of the concrete in shear and consequently the reliability of concrete
members designed for shear with very high strength concretes.

The Australian Standard Concrete for Structures (AS3600) permits the use of the normal
design equations for concrete up to 65MPa in strengths. The draft Australian Bridge
Design Code (AS5100) also proposes 65MPa as the upper strength limit for applicability
of the design equations for that code. Allowing for the normal distribution of concrete
strengths, a target strength of 75MPa is required to meet the 65MPa design requirements.
Such a concrete will have approximately 5% of concrete including 85MPa. For this and
other reasons, the RTA’s current limitations in specification B80 and associated
specifications is no longer feasible. Nevertheless, it is important to retain an upper limit on
the design strength used for concrete unless specific modifications to the design equations
and reinforcement detailing are made to cater for the very high strength concretes. It is
also necessary to prevent excessively high strength concretes from being used in works
that are designed assuming normal behaviours of concretes.

Action now required
The maximum value of the concrete strengths to be used for design purposes (f’c) shall be
65MPa.

To permit effective manufacturer of concrete members using this high design strength, the
maximum target strength for concrete mixed design shall be 75MPa and the assumed
standard deviation of the concrete shall be 6MPa.

2002/02 Page 1 of 2
BPC2002-02.DOC
File: 94M3917
Initial : GJC.pmc
Author’s Name: Gordon Chirgwin
Author’s Phone: 02 9662 5791

CHIEF BRIDGE ENGINEER CIRCULAR

CBE 00/08

BAR SHAPES AND STEEL LISTS FOR PRECAST CONCRETE MEMBERS

No. Sketches Following 0 No. Appendix Sheets Following 0

Background:

The RTA has traditionally provided bar shapes and steel lists for its precast concrete
items. With the general abandonment of steel lists in the 1980's, the steel lists for
precast items was transferred to and included on the drawings for the precast
elements. The principal advantages in this providing precast concrete reinforced
steel lists on the precast drawing are:
(i) the designer is more certain that what is designed can be built;
(ii) the pre-caster is more easily able to assure the contractor, and hence the
RTA, that the design has been complied with;
(iii) all the relevant information is provided on the one drawing.

As the precast work often on the construction critical path has significant repetition
and little scope for error, the need for accuracy and avoidance of error is greater in
precast work than most on-site work.

The provision of the bar shapes and steel lists on the precast drawings does impose
a small additional cost in the design. Under the commercial pressures of bid design
work, the designers will omit the steel list unless the client specifies and pays for the
work involved.

It is in the RTA's best interest to minimise contractor difficulties and maximise the
assurance of good construction practice where this can be achieved at low cost.

CBE CIRCULAR 00/08 Page 1 (of 2)
May 2000
File Number 94M3917
Initial: CDJ
Auth. Name C.D.Jones
Auth. Ph No. 9662-5759

CHIEF BRIDGE ENGINEER CIRCULAR

CBE 00/05

COMPACTION OF CONCRETE IN SOLID AND NON-CIRCULAR
BRIDGE COLUMNS

No. Sketches Following 0 No. Appendix Sheets Following 0

Background

It has been increasingly noticed that the provision of lateral ties in solid and non-
circular columns to satisfy the requirements of the Australian Bridge Design Code
in regard to the full lateral restraint of longitudinal reinforcement (ie Clause
5.10.7.3) has caused problems for access in columns for workmen. Access in the
column during concrete placing is required in order that the concrete can be
adequately vibrated.

Inadequate compaction of the concrete in columns has caused durability problems
and in some cases has lead to the column being demolished and replaced.

It is noted that where the column design axial force is less than half the column
ultimate axial strength under eccentric loading (reduced by the strength reduction
factor) the Code allows the requirements for full lateral restraint to be relaxed.

Occupational health and safety factors are now relevant design matters and require
the provision of an adequate space inside the reinforcing cage for a worker to
vibrate the concrete.

For lifts of not more than 3.6 metres, this can be achieved by providing vibrator
access of not less than 200 mm diameter at frequent intervals. For lifts exceeding
3.6 metres, access for the worker to safely enter the reinforcing cage must be
provided. The access must allow for the emergency retrieval of the worker in case
of accident. The minimum access gap for a worker is 750 mm diameter.

Jump form and slip form construction may be used in very high columns, to
overcome these difficulties. Such construction methods may require special
detailing of the column, and specialist advice may be required.

CBE CIRCULAR 00/05 Page 1 of 2
May 2000
File Number: 94M3917
Initial: DJC.pmc
Auth. Name: Don Carter
Auth. Ph No: 02 9662 5829

CHIEF BRIDGE ENGINEER CIRCULAR

CBE 99/15

TIMBER/CONCRETE COMPOSITE BRIDGE MODULES TEST LOADING
OF MODULE - DESIGN CRITERIA

No. Sketches Following 4 No. Appendix Sheets Following 0

BACKGROUND

In 1996 the Authority carried out test loading of two timber/concrete
composite bridge modules as part of an R & D program on the modular
timber/concrete composite bridge system developed by Mr T Doolan.

DETAILS OF MODULES

Both modules were 11.5m long and 2.5m wide. The centreline to centreline
of bearings was 11.3m.

The shear connections, end connections and concrete details were the same
for each module. The only variable between the two modules was the
nominal diameter of the spotted gum girders (F22) being 450 diameter for
Module 1 and 400 for Module 2.

TEST LOADING

Fatigue Testing

To assess the fatigue performance each module was subjected to 500,000
cycles to serviceability load. The layout of point loads applied to the modules
produced both bending and shear serviceability loading simultaneously.

_________________________________________________________________________________
CBE CIRCULAR 99/15 Page 1 (of 5)
Design Ultimate Moment and Shear Tests

On completion of the fatigue testing each module was tested to the design
ultimate moment and shear loads.

Modules 1 and 2 were then subjected to a loads of 1.32 and 1.30 X the
design ultimate load respectively.

Module 1 (450 diameter girders)

After 500,000 cycles under service load the shear connection showed no
significant signs of deterioration. The Module withstood the design ultimate
loading and its behaviour remained virtually linear throughout. The behaviour
also remained virtually linear to the maximum loading applied of 32% above
the design ultimate loading. No cracking damage occurred in the Module.

Module 2 (400 diameter girders)

After 500,000 cycles under service load the shear connection showed no
significant signs of deterioration. At a loading of 30% above the design
ultimate loading failure occurred in the concrete due to a combination of
vertical and torsional shear stresses. The failure occurred in the diaphragm
area of the most heavily loaded end of the Module. The reason for this
failure is unknown. The maximum deflection was significantly higher than
Module 1.

TEST LOADING RESULTS

The test loading carried out proved that the specific design details used in the
test modules met the ’92 AUSTROADS Bridge Design Code in regard to
fatigue and design ultimate shear and bending loading requirements.

However, it needs to be pointed out that the testing carried out was design
specific to the test modules. On this basis the results of the testing can only
be applied to modules that strictly conform to the design details used in the
test modules.

DESIGN DETAILS FOR MODULES

Girder Diameter & Module Width

The minimum nominal girder diameter at midspan shall be as specified in
Table 1.

_________________________________________________________________________________
CBE CIRCULAR 99/15 Page 2 (of 5)
SPAN RANGE MINIMUM NOMINAL DIAMETER
METRES MIDSPAN (MM)
6-9 400
10 - 13.5 450
TABLE 1.

The necessity haunching of the deck slab shall be assessed by the designer
taking into consideration the span and width of the module being designed.

Edge Modules

Edge modules shall be stable under all loadings including barrier design
loadings. In considering the stability of the edge module, vertical wheel loads
shall not be considered as providing a restoring moments coexistent with
barrier loadings.

Where a single girder module is used, the deck shall carry all the torsional
loads. The girder is to be assumed as contributing no torsional stiffness.
Torsional restraint shall be provided at the module supports.

Concrete barriers not cast integrally with the module shall not be considered
as contributing to the strength or stability of the edge module.

Number of Girders per Module

The number of girders per module is to be generally limited to two. However,
three girder modules are acceptable provide the design requirements as set
out herein are complied with.

Haunched Slab

The provision of a haunch in the concrete slab above the girder is acceptable
provided the requirements set out below in regard to the horizontal shear flow
at the concrete/timber interface are complied with.

Shear Connectors

Shear connectors shall conform to the details used in the Test Modules in all
respects ie diameter of coach screws, length and spacing of coach screws,
embedment and protrusion length of coach screws, size and spacing of
shear connector plates and size of grooves in the girder. The use of dowel
type shear connectors, other than coach screws is not permitted.

Shear Flow
The designer shall ensure the horizontal shear flow at the concrete/timber
interface does not exceed that produced in Test Module 1.

_________________________________________________________________________________
CBE CIRCULAR 99/15 Page 3 (of 5)
Connection Details – Girder Ends

For spans up to 11.5 metres and widths up to 2.5 metres the timber/ concrete
connection details at the ends of the girders shall conform to the detail used
in the test modules in all respects.

For spans in excess of 11.5m and widths greater than 2.5m, the designer
shall assess the adequacy of the tensile capacity of the timber/concrete
connection details at the ends of the girders.

Maximum Permissible Spans

The maximum permissible span for a bridge module shall be 13.5metres

For spans in excess of 11.5 metres, but less than 13.5 metres, the designer
shall ensure that section properties of the module are such that the horizontal
shear flow at the timber/concrete interface does not exceed that produced in
the Test Module 1 at serviceability and design ultimate loadings.

End Diaphragms

The concrete and reinforcement details at the end diaphragms shall conform
to the details of the test modules. However, for spans in excess of 11.2
metres the designer shall assess the increased stresses in the diaphragm for
widths greater than 2.5 metres.

Concrete Slab

The slab thickness shall not be less than 150 mm.

DETAILS OF TEST MODULES

Details of the Test Modules 1 and 2 are set out on the attached drawings.

Design Guideline

A timber/concrete composite bridge module 'design guideline' is currently
being prepared.

CONSTRUCTION SPECIFICATION

RTA QC Spec.Part 384 "Timber/Concrete Bridge Modules" shall be included
in tender documents for construction of timber/concrete composite modules.

_________________________________________________________________________________
CBE CIRCULAR 99/15 Page 4 (of 5)
Appendix 1

CBE 98/15

MULTI SPAN PLANK BRIDGES WITH LINK SLABS
GUIDELINES FOR BEARING SELECTION

Fixed Point to Bearing Type Dowel Cap Call up on
Bearing Elevation
0-11.0m 65 or 95 wide x 20 *Ø32 rigid PVC conduit R
thick strip (65 wide to AS2053
for spans up to 9.0
m)
11.1-22.0m 125 wide x 25 thick * Ø50 rigid UPVC E
strip conduit to AS2053
22.1-28.0m Laminated * 65 x 35 x 3.0 RHS E
elastomeric
bearing for each
plank
28.1-35.0m (to be designed to *75 x 50 x 3.0 RHS E
meet specific
requirements)

* External Dimensions
R Restrained Bearing
E Expansion Bearing

NOTE:

The above table is intended as a guide to design/detailing a typical plank bridge.
No consideration has been given in the table to the effects of substructure member
stiffness, which may provide some movement at pier tops.

CBE CIRCULAR 98/15 Page 2 of 1 2
File Number: 94M3917
Initial : GJC/EMH
Auth Name: Gordon Chirgwin
Auth. Ph No. (02) 9662 5791

CHIEF BRIDGE ENGINEER CIRCULAR

CBE 98/12

TECH CULVERTTM

No. Sketches Following No. Appendix Sheets Following

Background

Reinforced Earth has introduced a range of smaller arch systems with spans up to
approximately 10 metres and waterway areas up to approximately 21 metres. These arch
units essentially compete with box culverts and large pipes.

Bridge Branch has reviewed the basis of the design of these units, and agrees that the
minimum reinforcement required by AS1597.2 is more appropriate than the Australian
Bridge Design Code for the arch elements.

The Bridge Branch is also proposing that the specification for design and supply of these
sizes of precast arch culvert be included within the RTA B130 specification.

Arch structures receive their most severe loading case when the fill around the arch just
reaches crown level. After this the additional loadings on the arch, except for extremely
high fills or fills less than one metre, reduce the bending in the arch to insignificant levels.
The key acceptance criterion is therefore an inspection of the arch to ensure that no
significant cracks occur at the time that the fill reaches the crown of the arch.

Action

1. Project Managers can accept alternative designs for Tech Span on a consideration of
equivalent waterway area only except where minimum energy loss structures are
designed.
2. Minimum reinforcement for the Tech Culvert units shall be 150mm2/m for transverse
reinforcement and 0.2% of cross sectional area for longitudinal reinforcement for units
up to 2.5m wide.
3. The base slab shall be designed in accordance with the Australian Bridge Design Code.
4. Visual checks shall be carried out on the arch culvert at the time when placement of the
backfill reaches the level of the crown. The maximum crack width shall not exceed
0.2mm at any location.

_________________________________________________________________________________
CBE CIRCULAR 98/12 Page 1 of 2
File Number: 94M3185
Initial: GF:TW
Auth: G Forster
Ph: 9662 5791

CHIEF BRIDGE ENGINEER CIRCULAR

CBE 97/1

VARIABILITY OF CONCRETE PROPERTIES
No. Sketches Following 0 No. Appendix Sheets Following 0

Research partly funded by the RTA, NSW and carried out by the CSIRO Division of
Building, Construction and Engineering is in progress to examine the shrinkage and
creep behaviour of concretes containing blast furnace slag aggregates and cement.
Both the short term and long term behaviour of a number of concrete mixes containing
a range of slag aggregates and cements are being compared with control mixes.

The research has revealed a number of effects which have implications for structural
design.

The effects are listed and tabulated below:

1. The Youngs Modulus (Ec) of heat accelerated cured members may be substantially
reduced compared to that for normal moist cured members. The reduction is in the
order of up to 20%.

2. For concrete containing Ordinary Portland Cement together with blast furnace slag
aggregate, the specific creep may be substantially increased, by over 35% for heat
accelerated cured members and up to 200% for standard moist cured members, as
compared to concrete containing river gravel or basalt aggregates.

3. For concrete containing either basalt or river gravel aggregates and subjected to
heat accelerated curing, the specific creep can be significantly reduced by up to 20%,
as compared to that of standard moist cured concrete.

(Note: Specific creep is defined as the “strain due to creep per unit applied stress” i.e.
it is the pure creep strain. When applying Article 5.6.1.8 of ‘92 AUSTROADS the
ultimate creep strain may be assumed to vary approximately as the specific creep.
Likewise for the strain due to concrete creep, εcc , called up in Article 5.6.4.3.

The basic creep factor φcc.b called up in Article 5.6.1.8 has the same direct relationship
to specific creep as εcc because φcc.b is a function of the elastic strain measured upon
loading in the creep test used to quantify the specific creep.)

CBE CIRCULAR 97/1 Page 1 of 2
TB64M688
BMc:BMc
Mr B McKeon
(02) 6625744

CHIEF BRIDGE ENGINEER CIRCULAR

CBE 96/5

REGISTRATION AND STANDARD OF BRIDGE DESIGNS AND DRAWINGS FOR
BRIDGE WORKS FUNDED BY THE AUTHORITY ON MAIN ROADS

No. Sketches Following 0 No. Appendix Sheets Following 0

Introduction

The purpose of this document is to facilitate the adherence of all Offices of Record within the
Roads and Traffic Authority to the requirements of The Archives Act 1960, and all subsequent,
and related, Authority Document Management policies.

Background

The requirements of the Authority’s Document Management Policy, the Microfilming Action
Policy and hence the Archives Act 1960 are at present not being met throughout the RTA. Not
all Offices of Record are fulfilling their responsibilities in terms of the Document Management
Policy.

Currently, there are some bridge designs and associated drawings being accepted in various
Offices which are not appropriate in terms of design detailing, consistency of design and drawing
practice, and suitability of drawings for archiving on microfilm. Further, there are drawings for
new bridges, and hence Works as Executed drawings, which have not been allocated a Bridge
Registration Number, and the originals of which have not been sent to Micrographics Section for
archiving.

Required Action

• All bridge works funded by the Authority on Main Roads shall be issued with a Drawing
Registration Number. The request for a Drawing Registration Number shall be made in
writing, or orally and subsequently confirmed in writing, to Micrographics Section prior to
the commencement of design of related bridge works.

• Bridge designs and work-as-executed drawings shall be drawn in accordance with the
guidelines laid down in the Authority Structural Drafting Manual. The Manual nominates
items such as preferred font sizes and types, line thicknesses, dimensioning, spacing, etc. in
order that microfilmed copies can be retrieved in a legible state at any time in the future.

• All new bridge designs, bridge maintenance works and associated drawings shall be carried
out in accordance with the requirements of and shall incorporate preferred details described in
the Branch Policy Manual and Structural Drafting Manual.

CBE CIRCULAR 96/5 Page 1 of 2
TB 64M688 GC
Mr G Chirgwin
(02) 662 5791

CHIEF BRIDGE ENGINEER CIRCULAR

CBE 96/4

DRIVEN PILES

Background

With the release of revised Specifications for Driven Piles (Parts 50 to 55, B50 to B55)
CBE 92/3 is no longer entirely applicable and is cancelled.

Since 1992, driven piles of capacity in excess of 1800kN (Ultimate Capacity) have
been designed. This less conservative design has been made possible by the use of
computers to enable dynamic testing of piles and the computation of their behaviour
based on wave equation analysis.

To date, two systems have been developed:

1 PDA/CASE/CAPWAP/GRLWEAP
This system is marketed by Goble Roche Likins of USA.

CAPWAP provides the analysis of the pile after it is driven.
PDA is the hardware which actually records the test results.
GRLWEAP and CASE are the computer programs for designing piles.

2 TNO FOUNDATION PILE DIAGNOSTIC SYSTEM
This suite of programs and test equipment has been developed by TNO
Laboratories of Netherlands. TNOWAVE provides the post-tensioning
analysis.

Bridge Branch is a licensed user of the GRLWEAP Program.

Advantages of Dynamic Testing

Dynamic testing of the installed pile has several important advantages:

1. the actual driving energy, after losses, can be determined;
2. provided that adequate mobilisation of the pile can be achieved, the actual pile
capacity can be determined to within 10%;
3. the integrity of the pile can be checked;
4. set-up and relaxation effects can be estimated after a suitable period.
5. The efficiency of the pile driver being used can be determined.
Limitations

Dynamic testing is of extremely short duration. Therefore, the long term effects of
settlement cannot be estimated by this test.

Mobilisation of the pile for accurate testing requires a set of 4 to 6 mm per blow for
standard RTA concrete piles. This may exceed the pile capacity in some situations,
particularly for restrike tests.

As with any test, the test conditions must truly represent the conditions for installation
of any remaining piles. The parameters to be controlled include any pre-boring, both in
respect of depth, diameter and any backfilling. The test piles must also be selected to
account for variations in general conditions over the site.

Design

Exclusions
Wave analysis does not apply to lateral load capacity of piles, nor to cast in place piles.
A separate estimate of settlement must be made where this is of concern.

Assumptions and Errors
The wave analysis technique relies upon some assumptions to be made by the designer.
In particular, the method relies upon the designer to apportion the end bearing and skin
friction resistances. For most soils, this technique gives good estimates of pile length
and resistance. Under some circumstances, particularly with sensitive soils, the results
are misleading. Under these circumstances, the skin friction may be substantially
reduced before the end bearing achieves full mobilisation. This results in a maximum
resistance which is significantly less than the sum of the end bearing and the skin
friction. This is more likely to occur with larger piles.

The use of dynamic methods in design requires an estimate of the driving efficiency. In
the absence of specific test data for the equipment and cushion to be used, the
following can be assumed for hammers in good working order and using new
hardwood cushioning:

Open-ended Diesel Hammer 68%
Single Acting Air or Steam Hammer 63%
Double Acting Air or Steam Hammer 47%
Vertical Trigger or Hydraulic Drop Hammers 70%

Scour
Scour effects, including loss of stability, must be accounted for in the design.

A proper estimate of the scour is required for all bridges located in waterways. A
minimum of one metre shall be adopted for scour for any bridge located in a waterway.