Dimensional Stability of Grout-Like Materials Used in Field-Cast Connections

The wide use of grouts and grout-like materials in the construction industry is seen in applications such as joint sealing, structural repair, and connections in prefabricated bridge elements (PBEs). Currently, different types of grouts are available (e.g., epoxy-based, cementitious-based, etc.). The selection of the most appropriate grout type is commonly based on the application in which it is used and the desired performance. Grouts for transportation applications typically require high-performance properties such as rapid strength development and superior durability characteristics. However, dimensional stability issues (i.e., expansion and shrinkage) have been observed in various applications with different grout types but especially in cases where cementitious grouts were used, due mainly to their inherent shrinking behavior. This document provides information about the current approaches to quantifying the dimensional stability of grouts and grout-like materials, including those cementitious grouts known as “non-shrink cementitious grouts (NSCGs),” and highlights some of the limitations of the test methods currently in use. Additional material testing methods to better quantify dimensional stability are also proposed, as well as strategies to help mitigate some of the shrinkage observed in these types of materials.

Download the TechNote (.pdf)

Bond of Field-Cast Grouts to Precast Concrete Elements

The performance of connections between prefabricated concrete elements constructed using field-cast cementitious grouts and grout-like materials is becoming a focus area for accelerated bridge construction (ABC) projects. These connections are required to provide sufficient strength and long-term performance equal to or better than the adjacent concrete elements that they are connecting to assure adequate stress transfer and long-term performance throughout the life of the bridge. Many aspects need to be taken into consideration when specifying the material to make these connections. The FHWA has issued a TechNote focusing on the aspects related to the bonding interface between the previously cast concrete element and the field-cast connection grouts, including test methods, factors affecting bond, and best practices for detailing and construction.

Download the TechNote (.pdf)

Asset Management Plans and Periodic Evaluations of Facilities Repeatedly Requiring Repair and Reconstruction Due to Emergency Events

The FHWA is issuing this final rule to address three new requirements established by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). First, as part of the National Highway Performance Program (NHPP), MAP-21 adopted a requirement for States to develop and implement risk-based asset management plans for the National Highway System (NHS) to improve or preserve the condition of the assets and the performance of the system. Second, for the purpose of carrying out the NHPP, MAP-21 requires FHWA to establish minimum standards for States to use in developing and operating bridge and pavement management systems. Third, to conserve Federal resources and protect public safety, MAP-21 mandates periodic evaluations to determine if reasonable alternatives exist to roads, highways, or bridges that repeatedly require repair and reconstruction activities. This rule establishes requirements applicable to States in each of these areas. The rule also reflects the passage of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which added provisions on critical infrastructure to the asset management portion of the NHPP statute.

Link to the Federal Register

National Performance Management Measures – Assessing Pavement and Bridge Conditions for the National Highway Performance Program

Section 1203 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) declared that performance management will transform the Federal-aid highway program and refocus it on national transportation goals, increase accountability and transparency of the Federal-aid highway program and improve project decision making through performance-based planning and programming. Section 1203 of MAP-21 identifies the national transportation goals and requires the Secretary to promulgate a rule to establish performance measures in specified Federal-aid highway program areas. The FHWA is issuing three separate Notices of Proposed Rule Making (NPRMs) to meet this requirement, and this is the second NPRM.

This NPRM proposes to establish measures for State Departments of Transportation (State DOTs) to use to carry out the National Highway Performance Program (NHPP) and to assess the condition of the following: pavements on the National Highway System (NHS) (excluding the Interstate System), bridges on the NHS, and pavements on the Interstate System. The NHPP is a core Federal-aid highway program that provides support for the condition and performance of the NHS and the construction of new facilities on the NHS, and ensures that investments of Federal-aid funds in highway construction are directed to support progress toward the achievement of performance targets established in a State’s asset management plan for the NHS. This NPRM proposes regulations for the new performance aspects of the NHPP, which address: measures, targets, and reporting. The FHWA intends to make these performance aspects of the NHPP available to the public in a format that is easily understandable and accessible for download.

This second NPRM also includes a discussion of the collective rule making actions FHWA has or intends to take to implement MAP-21 performance-related provisions.

Link to the Federal Register

Review of Ways to Link Funding to Conditions of Highway Bridges

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has released a report that examines trends in the condition, managing, and funding of the nation’s bridges.

Download the GAO Report (.pdf)

2015 FHWA Replacement & Rehabilitation Costs for Structurally Deficient (SD) Bridges

The attached spreadsheet contains the 2015 FHWA replacement and rehabilitation costs for SD bridges.  National average unit costs for SD bridge replacement are $209/ft² for NHS and $188/ft² for non-NHS.

Download the Cost Spreadsheet (.xlsx)

FHWA Guidance on Highway Preservation and Maintenance

The FHWA has updated its guidance on highway preservation and maintenance activities to be consistent with MAP-21 and the FAST Act. The following guidance memoranda have been superseded:

• Pavement Preservation Definitions, September 12, 2005,
• Preventive Maintenance Eligibility, October 8, 2004, and
• Preventive Maintenance Questions and Answers, December 16, 2004.

Link to the FHWA’s Revised Guidance (.cfm)

Download the (.pdf) Version

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