Research in Support of New Orthotropic Steel Bridge Deck Provisions for CSA S6:25

Orthotropic bridge deck is lightweight steel deck, typically fabricated by welding “ribs” to the underside of a flat steel plate. The potential benefits of these deck systems are compelling. For example, from 1991 to 1993, the deteriorating deck on the Champlain Bridge was replaced with orthotropic steel deck panels weighing 25% less than the original reinforced concrete deck. The reduced self-weight enabled the bridge to continue to operate despite increasing live loads and deterioration of the superstructure for another two decades. In the last code cycle, provisions in CSA S6 for orthotropic bridge deck design were replaced with a reference to the American AASHTO Bridge Specification, on the basis the Canadian provisions were no longer up-to-date. On this basis, the goals of this project will be to: 1) conduct an in-depth review of the state-of-knowledge on steel orthotropic deck design; 2) perform preliminary structural analyses on a broad range of deck spans and configurations, to test the implementation of the current design approach; and 3) produce two reports, each including a summary of findings, and identified areas of improvement for future editions of CSA S6 and future research.

Faculty Supervisor:

Scott Walbridge;Bruno Massicotte


Spencer Arbuckle


CSA Group


Engineering - civil


Professional, scientific and technical services




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