Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Choi, Wonchang Dr.


The overall performance and longevity of highway bridges is highly dependent upon the integrity of their deck joints. The North Carolina Department of Transportation has experienced problems with bonding in the armored deck joints installed on many of its bridges. These defects have historically been detected using conventional NDT techniques such as visual inspection, chain-dragging and by detecting sounds made by the joint due to passing traffic. By the time these methods are effective the joint has usually failed, however, and must be replaced. Future bridge maintenance challenges will demand the development of techniques and procedures to detect and monitor these defects before they become apparent. This research seeks to extend the use of three NDT/E techniques – High-Density Surveying (HDS), Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Seismic Properties Analysis (SPA) - to the detection and quantification of subsurface defects and anomalies in and around bridge deck armor. All three methods were employed on an abandoned bridge in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and their results evaluated against actual core specimens from the deck. Any challenges peculiar to these techniques with regard to armored deck joints were also investigated and documented, as was their potential as alternatives – or adjuncts to – conventional NDT/E techniques.