Seismic Performance of an I-Girder to Inverted-T Bent Cap Connection
Vander Werff, Justin
This report presents the research conducted as part of an investigation for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) regarding the seismic response and overall moment capacity of precast I-girder to inverted-T bent cap bridge connections for seismic applications. The current design practice, as outlined by Caltrans’ Seismic Design Criteria, assumes that the connection between the precast I-girders and the inverted-T bent cap will degrade in a seismic event and shall therefore be designed as a pinned connection, making the precast girder option for seismic bridges inefficient. A prototype I-girder to inverted-T bent cap bridge and a 50% scale test unit was designed in order to investigate the behavior of the as-built girder-to-cap connection region. Additionally, per the request of Caltrans, an improved girder-to-cap connection detail was developed in order to ensure a fully continuous moment connection between the I-girders and inverted-T bent cap.