In the Netherlands, the assessment of existing prestressed concrete slab-between-girder bridges has revealed that the thin, transversely prestressed slabs may be critical for static and fatigue punching when evaluated using the recently introduced Eurocodes. On the other hand, compressive membrane action increases the capacity of these slabs, and it changes the failure mode from bending to punching shear. To improve the assessment of the existing prestressed slab-between-girder bridges in the Netherlands, two 1:2 scale models of an existing bridge, i.e., the Van Brienenoord Bridge, were built in the laboratory and tested monotonically, as well as under cycles of loading. The result of these experiments revealed: (1) the static strength of the decks, which showed that compressive membrane action significantly enhanced the punching capacity, and (2) the Wöhler curve of the decks, showed that the compressive membrane action remains under fatigue loading. The experimental results could then be used in the assessment of the most critical existing slab-between-girder bridges. The outcome was that the bridge had sufficient punching capacity for static and fatigue loads and, therefore, the existing slab-between-girder bridges in the Netherlands fulfilled the code requirements for static and fatigue punching.
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