Date of Award

Spring 2019

Project Type


Program or Major

Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Eshan V Dave

Second Advisor

Jo E Sias

Third Advisor

Raymond A Cook


In recent years a number of newly constructed curbs on New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) single-span roadway bridges have suffered from cracking within one year after placement. The cracking that occurs in bridge curbs may provide easy ingress of water and chloride ions into the curb which could accelerate deterioration. An additional concern is that cracks in the curb could extend into the bridge deck. Ideally, bridge curbs and bridge decks are replaced at the same time in an effort to reduce the frequency of lane closures and frequency of mobilizing a crew to perform repeated rehabilitation. Potential accelerated deterioration related to early-age cracking would likely mean that curb and deck replacement would not be done at the same time, leading to increased agency costs and inconvenience to the driving public. This thesis focuses on the survey and analysis of data collected at several bridges in an effort to find ways to reduce cracking in bridge curbs. Seventeen existing bridges that had been placed in the past eleven years, in addition to six bridges placed during the study, were examined for curb cracking. Four of the bridges had variables applied to one of the curbs to try and identify which items could contribute to crack reduction. Results indicate that longer bridges experience a greater amount of cracking per foot than shorter bridges. There is also a relationship between the amount of cracking and location on the curb relative to the ends of the curb. Pairs of curbs suggest longer wet cure durations and lower cementitious content PCC mixes reduce cracking.