A $204 million rehabilitation project recently completed on a major expressway in the Bronx created jointless bridge decks by using link slabs of ultra-high-performance concrete.

The process is designed to prevent water from leaking from the deck to the substructure, which deteriorates the bridge over time.Six deteriorated ramps on the Bruckner Expressway underwent deck replacements and repairs of concrete piers and steel girders.

The project also involved using link slabs, a growing practice by the New York State Department of Transportation to preserve bridge life. The slabs replace bridge deck joints, which are a major source of deterioration. Water leaks through the joints over time, corroding bridge girder bearings and supporting structures.

Debris also accumulates in the joints, which can hinder deck expansion and cause further damage. Joints are also costly to install and maintain.The slabs of ultra-high-performance concrete are used to connect the ends of prefabricated deck sections over the pier.ing bars.