Date of Award

Fall 2023

Project Type


Program or Major

Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Eshan V Dave

Second Advisor

Eshan V Dave

Third Advisor

Jo E Sias


Accelerated bridge construction (ABC) has become commonplace thanks to its reduced impact and delays on public infrastructure and traffic. While ABC projects enjoy high material quality due to a large fraction of precast and prefabricated elements, connections between these elements must be placed in-situ. Many transportation agencies as well as project sponsors have adopted the use of rapid-setting concrete (RSC) for the construction of connections between precast elements in ABC bridges, which are often treated as a “weak-links” in the ABC approach due to potential risk for inferior performance and durability concerns. This research aimed to access and explore correlations between mix design attributes and material properties for RSC ABC projects using laboratory evaluations for durability and mechanical properties of RSCThree main objectives were accomplished through this research, the first being a comprehensive review on RSC designs and specifications, followed by laboratory evaluation in two phases to determine if freeze-thaw durability was a concern to RSC connections, finally to determine correlations between lab measured properties and the mix design parameters to develop mix composition recommendations. Laboratory evaluation encompassed various assessments including early age and cured compressive strength, early age and cured bond strength, flexural strength, shrinkage, surface resistivity, and freeze thaw conditioning. Correlations between lab measured properties and mix design parameters were developed through statistical analyses. Key results from the research indicated that there was little to no concern for freeze-thaw durability in RSC as long as the amount of Portland cement replacement with supplementary cementitious materials was controlled, and a good recommendation for mix design composition for RSC may be 850 lbs./yd3 of cementitious content, with 44% Portland cement replacement, a water to cementitious content (w/cm) ratio of 0.33, 6% air content and a workability of 7 inch slump.