Date of Award


Degree Type



Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Delatte, Norbert

Subject Headings

Bridge railings -- Design and construction, Bridge railings -- Cracking -- Ohio, Bridge railings -- Cracking -- United States, Concrete bridges -- Cracking, Civil Engineering


The Ohio Department of Transportation has identified that premature parapet cracking is a significant problem in Northeast Ohio. Background research related to concrete cracking and parapet cracking was conducted to determine possible causes of the premature cracking that ODOT has discovered. To further look at possible causes of this cracking, current ODOT bridge parapet practices were reviewed. In addition to ODOT practices, ten other state DOTs were surveyed to identify the bridge parapet practices used. These practices include the parapet design characteristics, construction joint spacing and depth, and the class of concrete used for construction. Various differences among all of these characteristics were identified and discussed to determine an improved bridge parapet design. Many of the districts located within ODOT were also surveyed and asked to identify premature bridge parapet cracking repair or replacement projects. Four of the districts were able to present twelve separate bridge parapet cracking projects. From these projects, it was determined that ODOT spends on average $188,175 per bridge parapet replacement project, or $283 per linear foot ($86 per meter) of parapet. Based on the state DOTs that confirmed parapet cracking was not a problem for their state, parapet improvements were determined. These improvements include decreasing the maximum construction joint spacing, and increasing the joint cut depth