U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Accelerating Innovation

FHWA Home / Accelerating Innovation / HFL

Design Guide for Precase UHPC Waffle Deck Panel System, including Connections











Figure 1. Graphs. Actual and recommended design stress-strain behavior of UHPC in compression.
Figure 2. Graphs. Measured and recommended design stress-strain behavior of UHPC in tension.
Figure 3. Graph. Comparison of various equations suggested for elastic modulus of UHPC with measured experimental data.
Figure 4. Chart. Durability properties of UHPC and HPC with respect to normal concrete (lowest values identify the most favorable material.(26)
Figure 5. Diagrams. Schematic of UHPC waffle deck system.
Figure 6. Diagram. Cross-section details of the replacement bridge with UHPC waffle deck system in Wapello County, Iowa.
Figure 7. Diagrams. Connection details used for the UHPC waffle deck system.
Figure 8. Diagram and photos. Schematic of the test setup used for testing of the UHPC waffle deck panel system.
Figure 9. Diagrams and photos. Schematic of the displacement and strain gauges in the test unit.
Figure 10. Graphs. Measured force-displacement response at the center of the waffle deck panel and the transverse panel-to-panel joint under service loads.
Figure 11. Graphs. Measured strain distribution along the transverse rib in the center of the panel and normalized strains at the center of the transverse ribs along the longitudinal direction under service load conditions.
Figure 12. Graph. Measured force-displacement response of waffle deck system.
Figure 13. Graph and photo. Measured force-displacement response and cracking at the center of the panel-to-panel joint under ultimate loads.
Figure 14. Graph and photos. Measured load-displacement behavior and failure surface during the punching shear failure test of waffle deck system.
Figure 15. Photo. Axle weight and configuration of the test truck.
Figure 16. Diagram. Schematic layout of the load paths used for field testing.
Figure 17. Diagrams. Schematic view of UHPC deck panel.
Figure 18. Diagrams. Illustrations of typical components of bridges.
Figure 19. Diagrams. Schematic of UHPC panels supported by girders.
Figure 20. Equation. The transverse strip width according to article of AASHTO LRFD guidelines.
Figure 21. Equation. Self-weight of waffle deck for different rib spacing.
Figure 22. Equation. The dead load due to a 2-inch-thick wearing surface.
Figure 23. Equation. The design dead load at the strength-I limit state.
Figure 24. Equation. The positive and negative bending moment due to dead load for the design strip.
Figure 25. Equation. The design moment demand equation for strength-I limit state.
Figure 26. Equation. Cracking moment relationship for a rectangular section.
Figure 27. Diagrams. Strain and stress distribution along the cross-section at cracking and ultimate limit states.
Figure 28. Equation. UHPC compression force.
Figure 29. Equation. UHPC tension force.
Figure 30. Equation. Force equilibrium equation for the rectangular section.
Figure 31. Equation. Conditions for controlling limit states.
Figure 32. Equation. Neutral axis depth and moment capacity for compression limit state.
Figure 33. Equation. Neutral axis depth and moment capacity for tension limit state.
Figure 34. Equation. Positive and negative cracking moment for T-beam.
Figure 35. Diagrams. Stress profile for estimating the positive cracking moment of a T-shaped UHPC beam.
Figure 36. Diagrams. Strain and stress profiles for estimating the positive nominal moment of a T-shaped UHPC beam.
Figure 37. Equation. Concrete compression force.
Figure 38. Equation. UHPC tension force.
Figure 39. Equation. Force equilibrium.
Figure 40. Diagrams. Strain and stress profiles for estimating the negative nominal moment capacity of a T-shaped UHPC beam.
Figure 41. Diagrams. Cross-section of an equivalent strip for positive bending.
Figure 42. Equation. Flange width of equivalent T-beam for positive and negative bending.
Figure 43. Diagram. Details of an equivalent transverse rib in the positive bending strip.
Figure 44. Diagrams. The details of cross-sections considered for transverse ribs.
Figure 45. Diagrams. Critical section locations for overhang design and cross-sections of the waffle deck at those locations.
Figure 46. Equation. Tension force in deck panel due to collision loading.
Figure 47. Diagram. Locations of dead and live loads for design case III.
Figure 48. Diagram. Transverse connection detail tested for waffle deck panel at ISU.(40)
Figure 49. Diagrams. Panel-to-panel connection details used for HPC deck panels by NYSDOT with field-cast UHPC.(36)
Figure 50. Diagrams. NCHRP 10-71 longitudinal panel-to-panel connection.(46)
Figure 51. Photo. US Highway 6 demonstration bridge in Pottawattamie County, Iowa.(47)
Figure 52. Diagram. Global connection configuration.(47)
Figure 53. Diagram. SHRP 2 transverse connection detail.(47)
Figure 54. Diagram. Grouted shear key panel-to-panel detail.(48)
Figure 55. Diagram. Post-tensioned grouted shear key panel-to-panel transverse joint detail.(48)
Figure 56. Diagram. Post-tensioned transverse joint connection with simplified pocket geometry.(48)
Figure 57. Diagram. NCHRP 584 panel for system CD-1A.(50)
Figure 58. Diagram. NCHRP panel-to-panel connection interface.(50)
Figure 59. Diagram. Longitudinal connection tested for waffle deck at ISU.(40)
Figure 60. Diagram. A shear pocket connection tested at ISU.(40)
Figure 61. Diagram. FHWA panel-to-steel girder connection detail.(51)
Figure 62. Diagram. FHWA panel-to-concrete girder.(51)
Figure 63. Diagram. Panel-to-steel girder connection.(50)
Figure 64. Diagram. Panel-to-concrete girder connection.(50)
Figure 65. Diagram. Panel-to-girder (steel) shear stud connection.(54)
Figure 66. Diagrams. Extended stirrups and field-installed reinforcement as horizontal shear connectors.(49)
Figure 67. Photo. Jackhammering deck sections prior to removal.
Figure 68. Photo. Sawn deck section being removed by crane.
Figure 69. Photo. Existing superstructure with remaining reinforcement after deck removal.
Figure 70. Diagram. Shear pockets used for installing precast deck panels.(57)
Figure 71. Photo and diagram. Clustered headed shear stud arrangement for deck panel shear pocket.(60)
Figure 72. Diagram. Post-installed reinforcement as horizontal shear connector.
Figure 73. Photos. Construction of a UHPC panel.
Figure 74. Photos. Formwork used for waffle deck panel construction.
Figure 75. Diagrams. Full- and partial-depth shear pockets.
Figure 76. Photo. Test setup for characterization of skid resistance of textures using the British pendulum tester.
Figure 77. Photo. Close-up of shear pockets and shear hooks at Wapello County, Iowa, waffle deck bridge.
Figure 78. Photo. Watertight seal at panel-to-girder connection using quick setting spray.
Figure 79. Photos. Placement of waffle deck panels.
Figure 80. Photos. Transverse and longitudinal connections.
Figure 81. Photos. Batching of UHPC joint fill using IMER Mortarman 750 mixers in field.
Figure 82. Photos. Filling of connection regions with in situ UHPC and completed connections.
Figure 83. Photo. Finished transverse connections (panel-to-panel connection) covered with plywood.
Figure 84. Photo. Close-up of the waffle panel deck after grinding along the transverse and longitudinal deck connections.
Figure 85. Diagrams. Proposed transverse reinforcement configurations.


Table 1. Material composition of typical UHPC mix.(12)
Table 2. Durability properties of UHPC compared to HPC and NSC.
Table 3. Sequence and details of the tests conducted on the waffle deck system.
Table 4. Design strip width (Wts).
Table 5. Load factors for different limit states.
Table 6. Recommended values for estimating dead load.
Table 7. Self-weight of the deck panel (wwaffle) in psf for different rib spacing.
Table 8. Properties of F-section continuous barrier rail as used by the Iowa DOT.
Table 9. Collision design parameters suggested for the Iowa standard F-type barrier.
Table 10. Suitable values for estimating the design moments for waffle deck panels due to dead load (self weight and wearing surface).
Table 11. Table A4-1 from AASHTO LRFD specifications with a load factor of 1.75 as the LL positive moment effect in strength-I limit state.(27)
Table 12. Table A4-1 from AASHTO LRFD specifications with a load factor of 1.75 as the LL negative moment effect in strength-I limit state).(27)
Table 13. The positive moment demand for waffle deck panel at strength-I limit state.
Table 14. The negative moment demand for waffle deck panel at strength-I limit state.
Table 15. T-beam internal forces and their location at ultimate limit state.
Table 16. T-beam internal forces and their location at ultimate limit state.
Table 17. Equivalent flange width for the T-section for different girder and rib spacing.
Table 18. Cracking and nominal moment capacity for UWP6T7B in kip-ft/ft.
Table 19. Cracking and nominal moment capacity for UWP6T6B in kip-ft/ft.
Table 20. Negative moment demands due to collision forces at critical locations.
Table 21. Moment capacity of the overhang section for deck panels with two different reinforcement configurations.
Table 22. Details of the textures and average sand patch diameters.
Table 23. Measured skid resistance values for different textured surfaces using British pendulum tester.


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

1. Report No.

2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient's Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle
Design Guide for Precast UHPC Waffle Deck Panel System, including Connections

5. Report Date
June 2013

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Author(s)
Sriram Aaleti, Bradley Petersen, and Sri Sritharan

8. Performing Organization Report No.
InTrans Project 11-425

9. Performing Organization Name and Address
Bridge Engineering Center
Iowa State University
2711 South Loop Drive, Suite 4700
Ames, IA 50010-8664

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.

12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Federal Highway Administration
Highways for LIFE Program – HIHL-1
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, D.C. 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered
Final Report

14. Sponsoring Agency Code
SPR 90-00-RB12-012

15. Supplementary Notes
Visit www.intrans.iastate.edu for related research reports.

16. Abstract
As a part of an innovation project funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Highways for LIFE program, a full-depth precast, ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) waffle deck panel and appropriate connections suitable for field implementation of waffle decks were developed.

Following a successful full-scale validation test on a unit consisting of two panels with various types of connections under laboratory conditions, the waffle deck was installed successfully on a replacement bridge in Wapello County, Iowa. The subsequent load testing confirmed the desirable performance of the UHPC waffle deck bridge.

Using the lessons from the completed project and outcomes from a series of simple and detailed finite element analyses of waffle decks, this report was developed to serve as a guide for broadening the design and installation of the UHPC waffle deck panel in new and existing bridges.

Following an introduction to UHPC and waffle deck panels and a summary of completed work, this document presents information on waffle deck design, design of connections, redecking using waffle deck panels, and guidance on precast fabrication, construction, and installation of UHPC waffle deck panels.

17. Key Words
accelerated bridge construction–bridge deck connections—bridge design—bridge panel systems—bridge redecking—Highways for LIFE—load testing—precast bridge sections—replacement bridges—ultra-high-performance concrete–waffle decks—Wapello County Iowa

18. Distribution Statement
No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.

19. Security Classification (of this report)

20. Security Classification (of this page)

21. No. of Pages

22. Price


Symbol When You Know Multiply By To Find Symbol Symbol When You Know Multiply By To Find Symbol
in inches 25.4 millimeters mm mm millimeters 0.039 inches in
ft feet 0.305 meters m m meters 3.28 feet ft
yd yards 0.914 meters m m meters 1.09 yards yd
mi miles 1.61 kilometers km km kilometers 0.621 miles mi
in2 square inches 645.2 square millimeters mm2 mm2 square millimeters 0.0016 square inches in2
ft2 square feet 0.093 square meters m2 m2 square meters 10.764 square feet ft2
yd2 square yards 0.836 square meters m2 m2 square meters 1.195 square yards yd2
ac acres 0.405 hectares ha ha hectares 2.47 acres ac2
mi2 square miles 2.59 square kilometers km2 km2 square kilometers 0.386 square miles mi2
fl oz fluid ounces 29.57 milliliters ml mL milliliters 0.034 fluid ounces fl oz
gal gallons 3.785 liters L L liters 0.264 gallons gal
ft3 cubic feet 0.028 cubic meters m3 m3 cubic meters 35.314 cubic feet ft3
yd3 cubic yards 0.765 cubic meters m3 m3 cubic meters 1.307 cubic yard yd3
NOTE: Volumes greater than 1000 l shall be shown in m3  
oz ounces 28.35 grams g g grams 0.035 ounces oz
lb pounds 0.454 kilograms kg kg kilograms 2.202 pounds lb
T short tons (2000 lb) 0.907 megagrams Mg Mg (or "t") megagrams (or "metric ton") 1.103 short tons (2000 lb) T
TEMPERATURE (exact degrees) TEMPERATURE (exact degrees)
°F Fahrenheit 5(F–32)/9 or (F–32)/1.8 Celcius °C °C Celsius 1.8C +32 Fahrenheit °F
fc foot–candles 10.76 lux lx lx lux 0.0929 foot–candles fc
fl foot–Lamberts 3.426 candela/m2 cd/m2 cd/m2 candela/m2 0.2919 foot–Lamberts fl
lbf pounds 4.45 newtons N N newtons 0.225 poundforce lbf
lbf/in2 pound per square inch 6.89 kilopascals kPa kPa kilopascals 0.145 poundforce per square inch lbf/in2

*SI is the symbol for the International System of Units. Appropriate rounding should be made to comply with Section 4 of ASTM E380. (Revised March 2003)

Page last modified on May 18, 2012.
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000