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REPORT
This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-16-007    Date:  January 2016
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-16-007
Date: January 2016

 

Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) Program Protocols, Version 1

Long-Term Bridge Performance Program Logo

Expansion Joints
LTBP Protocol #: FLD-DC-VIJ-002


1.

Data Collected

 
1.1 Condition and functioning of expansion joints and adjacent elements.  

2.

Onsite Equipment and Personnel Requirements

 
2.1 Equipment:  
2.1.1 PRE-PL-LO-004, Personal Health and Safety Plan.  
2.1.2 Ladder, access platform, snooper, bucket truck, man lift, and/or high-reach equipment.  
2.1.3 Tape measure.  
2.1.4 6-ft folding rule.  
2.1.5 Measuring wheel.  
2.1.6 Thermometer.  
2.1.7 Digital camera.  
2.1.8 Temporary marker.  
2.1.9 Pencil, sketch pad, and clipboard.  
2.2 Personnel: PRE-PL-LO-005, Personnel Qualifications.  

3.

Methodology

 
3.1 Measure the ambient air temperature at the top surface of the deck joint at the same time the joint openings are measured. Record the ambient temperature and the time of day when the temperature was measured.  
3.2 Use FLD-OP-SC-002, Structure Segmentation and Element Identification System, to identify the expansion joint being evaluated.  
3.3 Use FLD-OP-SC-003, Determination of Local Origins for Elements, to establish the local origin for each joint on the bridge.  
3.4 Identify and record if the joint is open or sealed. Record if the joint is armored or not.  
3.5 Measuring joint openings:  
3.5.1 Measure the joint opening at both ends and at midlength of the joint. Record the joint opening width and the y-coordinates of the points where the opening width is measured.  
3.5.2 Measure any horizontal misalignment at the ends of the joint. Record the amount of horizontal misalignment and the y-coordinates of the points where the horizontal misalignment is measured.  
3.5.3 Measure any vertical misalignments between the two sides of the joint. Record the amount of vertical misalignment and the y-coordinates of the points where the vertical misalignment is measured.  
3.6 Measuring vertical misalignment at the beginning of the bridge:  
3.6.1 Examine the vertical alignment between the top of each abutment backwall and the end of the approach slab at the end of the bridge where traffic enters. Measure any vertical misalignments between the abutment backwall and the end of the approach slab. Record the amount of vertical misalignment and the y-coordinates of the points where the vertical misalignment is measured.  
3.6.2 Record the difference in elevation, if any.  
3.7 Evaluation of elements adjacent to joints:  
3.7.1 Examine the concrete deck adjacent to the edge of the open joint (or adjacent to the joint armor, ifany) for cracks, delaminations, and spalling of the adjacent concrete.  
3.7.2 If the open joint is armored, examine the metal armor for cracks, corrosion, pitting, loss of section, and/or misaligned plates.  
3.7.3 Examine the drainage trough (if any) under the joint, and describe the type and extent of debris as well as any defects in the trough that result in leakage on the superstructure or substructure elements.  
3.7.4 Examine the abutment seat and walls, the bearings, and the beam ends below the joint opening for evidence of damage from leakage or water staining.  
3.7.5 Measure the total length of the joint where the abutment seat, backwall, bearings, and/or the beam ends below the joint show evidence of active water leakage or water stains.  
3.8 Evaluation of joint sealing material:  
3.8.1 Identify the specific type of joint seal, such as asphalt plug, compression seal, modular joint, etc.  
3.8.2 Record the type and amount of debris (if any) in the joint.  
3.8.3 Clear joint of all debris, if necessary, and examine the joint sealing material for cracks, splits, or gouges in the elastomeric material or the asphalt plug. Make note of any joint material that has separated from the joint sidewall or joint material that is loose and sticking above the top deck surface.  
3.9 Documenting defects:  
3.9.1 Take photographs of defects using FLD-DC-PH-002, Photographing for Documentation Purposes, and create a photo log.  
3.9.2 Use sketches to document section loss and cracking and supplement the photographs.  
3.10 Storing data, documents, and images:  
3.10.1 FLD-DS-LS-001, Data, Document, and Image Storage—Local, for local storage.  
3.10.2 FLD-DS-RS-001, Data, Document, and Image Storage—Remote, for remote storage.  
3.11 Reporting: Transfer all metadata, data, documents, and images to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and/or upload all metadata, data, documents, and images into the Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) Bridge Portal.  

4.

Data Collection Table

 
4.1 Table:  
# Field Name Data Type Accuracy Unit Field Description Row Color
1 State
Text
 
 
State Code; e.g., Virginia = VA
Green
2 NBI structure number
Text
 
 
Item 8, structure number; from NBI Coding Guide
Green
3 Structure name
Text
 
 
Descriptive name for the bridge; e.g., Route 15 SB over I–66
Green
4 Protocol name
Text
 
 
Title of the protocol
Green
5 Protocol version
Text
Month and year
 
Month and year the protocol version was published; e.g., May 2015
Green
6 Personnel performing data collection activities
Text
 
 
First name(s) Last name(s)
Green
7 Date data were collected
Text
Exact date
 
mm/dd/yyyy
Green
8 Ambient air temperature at deck level
Number
1
ºF
Record the temperature at the time that the joint openings are measured
Green
Open Joints and Sealed Joints
Pink
9 Joint number
Text
 
 
Evaluate and record data for each individual joint
Blue
10 Type of joint
Predefined list
 
 
Open joint
Sealed joint
Yellow
11 Is the joint armored?
Predefined list
 
 
Yes or No
Yellow
12 Joint openings
Number
0.125
in.
Take three readings at each end and in the middle; record the opening and the y‑coordinates.
Yellow
13 Horizontal misalignment
Number
0.125
in.
Take readings at each end of the joint; record the reading and the y-coordinates.
Yellow
14 Vertical misalignment of joint
Number
0.125
in.
Take multiple readings, if necessary; record the amount of vertical misalignment and the y-coordinate.
Yellow
15 Vertical misalignment of abutment and approach slab/pavement
Number
0.125
in.
Take multiple readings, if necessary; record the amount of vertical misalignment and the y-coordinate(s).
Yellow
16 Damage to adjacent deck slab
Predefined list
 
 
Select all that apply:
  • Cracks
  • Delamination
  • Spalling
  • Other (please specify in comments)
Yellow
17 Length of joint with evidence of damage to the deck
Number
1
ft
Sum of the individual lengths if more than one distinct length
Yellow
18 Damage to joint armoring (if any)
Predefined list
 
 
Select all that apply:
  • Cracks
  • Corrosion
  • Pitting
  • Loss of section
  • Misaligned plates
  • Other (please specify in comments)
Yellow
19 Length of joint with evidence of damage to the joint armoring
Number
1
ft
Sum of the individual lengths if more than one distinct length
Yellow
20 Condition of drainage trough (if any)
Predefined list
 
 
No visible defects
Dirt and/or debris
Cracks, tears, etc.
Other (please specify in comments)
Yellow
21 Length of joint with evidence of damage to the drainage trough
 
 
 
Sum of the individual lengths if more than one distinct length
Yellow
22 Evidence of joint leakage
Predefined list
 
 
Select that apply:
  • Deterioration of beam ends
  • Corrosion/deterioration of bearings
  • Damage to abutment cap or backwall
  • Water/water stains on abutment elements
  • Other (please specify in comments)
Yellow
23 Length of joint with evidence of leakage
Number
1
ft
Sum of the individual lengths if more than one distinct length
Yellow
24 Defect photos
BLOB
 
 
Document typical defects with photos
Yellow
25 Comments
Text
 
 
 
Orange
Sealed Joints Only
Pink
26 Type of joint seal
Predefined list
 
 
Asphalt plug
Compression seal
Reinforced elastomeric
Modular joint
Other
Yellow
27 Debris in the joint?
Predefined list
 
 
Yes or No
Yellow
28 Length of joint with debris
Number
1
ft
Sum of the individual lengths if more than one distinct length
Yellow
29 Condition of anchor bolts (if any)
Predefined list
 
 
No visible defects
Corrosion present
Pitting rust
Loss of section
Cracking
Missing anchor bolts
Other (such as misaligned parts; specify under comments)
Yellow
30 Condition of joint seal material
Predefined list
 
 
No visible defects
Cracks, splits, or gouges
Joint material debonded from sides of joints
Joint material
Yellow
31 Location of defect in seal
Number
1
in.
y-coordinates at the beginning and ending of the defect
Yellow
32 Defect photos
BLOB
 
 
Document typical defects with photos
Yellow
33 Comments
Text
 
 
 
Orange
4.2 Table Key:  
Column Descriptions
#
Sequential number of data item
Field Name
Data field name
Data Type
Type of data, such as text, number, predefined list, binary large object (BLOB), or PDF file
Accuracy
Accuracy to which the data are recorded
Unit
Unit in which a measurement is taken and recorded
Field Description
Commentary on the data or list of items in a predefined list
Row Color Key
Green
Data items only entered once for each protocol for each day the protocol is applied
Pink
Logical breakdown of data by elements or defect types (not always used)
Blue
Data identifying the element being evaluated or the type of defect being identified
Yellow
LTBP data reported individually for each element or defect identified
Orange
Comments on the data collection or data entered

5.

Criteria for Data Validation

 
5.1 Compare measurements with measurements from previous inspections of the same structure to make sure values make sense.  
5.2 Compare measurements with photo documentation to make sure results shown in photos are consistent with items measured.  
5.3 If an element’s condition is improved when compared to the condition documented in a previous inspection, check with the State department of transportation to determine if any maintenance, repair, and/or bridge preservation actions have occurred. If so, document these maintenance, repair, and/or bridge preservation actions using appropriate protocols.  

6.

Commentary/Background

 
6.1 This protocol provides guidance on evaluating the condition of expansion joints and for collecting data that help determine if the joint is functioning as intended.  

7.

References

 
7.1 LTBP Protocols:  
7.1.1 PRE-PL-LO-004, Personal Health and Safety Plan.  
7.1.2 PRE-PL-LO-005, Personnel Qualifications.  
7.1.3 FLD-OP-SC-002, Structure Segmentation and Element Identification System.  
7.1.4 FLD-OP-SC-003, Determination of Local Origins for Elements.  
7.1.5 FLD-DC-PH-002, Photographing for Documentation Purposes.  
7.1.6 FLD-DS-LS-001, Data, Document, and Image Storage—Local.  
7.1.7 FLD-DS-RS-001, Data, Document, and Image Storage—Remote.  
7.2 External:  
7.2.1 FHWA-NHI-12-053, Bridge Inspector’s Reference Manual, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC, 2012.  

 

 

 

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