Bridge Deck Systems for Short Span Bridges

Bridge Deck Diagram (image credit: Minnesota DOT)

The decking system of a bridge can be defined as the surface upon which the traversing traffic drives. This is the surface which is used as a continuation of the driving surface on either side of the bridge.

Commonly, cast-in-place concrete is used as the method of placing a deck on a short span bridge, but due to the time of preparing formwork, it can be a very time-consuming process. Prefabricated deck systems are some of the most commonly used applications of modular bridge technology.

The resources provided below will describe and illustrate different methods of prefabricated deck systems for short span modular steel bridges.

For a list of bridge deck suppliers and manufacturers, please see Find-A-Supplier on the SSSBA website.

Related Resources: Bridge Decks

Sandwich Plate System Deck

12 Reasons to Use SPS Bridge Decks

The Sandwich Plate System is a structural composite material used for bridge decks that is up to 70% lighter than reinforced concrete.

Sandwich Plate System Bridge Deck

Sandwich Plate System Deck

SPS is a structural material of two metal plates with a polyurethane elastomer core.

Steel Orthotropic Decks

Steel Orthotropic Decks

Orthotropic decks are composed of a steel plate that is covered by a shop-installed roadway surface.

Precast Partial Deck

Partial Depth Precast Concrete Deck Panels

Partial-depth concrete panels span between girders and act as stay-in-place forms for cast-in-place concrete.

Fiber Reinforced Polymer Bridge Deck

Fiber Reinforced Polymer Decks

Open grid decks can be described as small-scale steel framing systems used as a bridge deck.

Concrete/Steel Hybrid Decks

Concrete/Steel Hybrid Decks

Steel hybrid decks consist of an open grid deck and full depth precast deck panel.

Open Grid Deck

Open Grid Decks

Open grid decks can be described as small-scale steel framing systems used as a bridge deck.

Precast Deck Slabs

Full Depth Precast Deck Slabs

Full depth precast deck slabs are one of the most common prefabricated deck systems.

Timber Decks

Timber Deck Panels

Timber decks are primarily used on low-volume roadways, but the same design idea can be applied to larger-volume roads as well.