Development, Characterization and Applications of a Non-Proprietary Ultra High Performance Concrete for Highway Bridges

Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) is a new class of cementitious materials that have exceptional mechanical and durability characteristics. UHPC is commercially available.  However, its cost for construction of highway structures is prohibitive. Based on an extensive testing program, a new family of non-proprietary UHPC materials with excellent characteristics in compression and tension, as well as exceptional resistance to freeze-thaw and chloride ion penetration were developed.  The Michigan DOT and the University of Michigan have investigated UHPC and produced a series of reports.

Download the UHPC Reports

Stronger, longer bridge girders the aim of research collaboration between University of Alabama, ALDOT

Better Roads, 18 September 2015
Bobby Atkinson

More durable and longer bridge girders could spell cheaper construction costs among other benefits, and a few engineering researchers at the University of Alabama are trying to make that a reality.

According to a UA news release, researchers are testing longer, stronger giant concrete bridge girders in a lab at the University of Alabama. The testing is part of a two-year project between the Alabama Department of Transportation and the university’s civil, construction and environmental engineering department.

The goal is for the the engineering researchers to come up with a recommendation on how to design and produce concrete girders that can span up to 180 feet. That’s about 15 feet longer than the longest girders used in Alabama currently. And that 15 feet can mean a lot.

Read the Full Article


Durability of Precast Bridge Elements

Maryland DOT recently published a research report on the durability of precast bridge elements.

Download the Report (.pdf)

SHRP 2 Non-Destructive Toolbox Now Available

TRB’s second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) has launched the NDToolbox—a web-based electronic repository of nondestructive testing (NDT) techniques. Information in the repository includes summaries of NDT technologies; documentation for recommended test procedures, protocols, and available standards and guidelines; samples of data output and guidance on interpreting and presenting results; and equipment features (including cost, availability, and specifications).

The NDToolbox includes NDT techniques that address the following:

  • Evaluating concrete bridge decks;
  • Using field spectroscopy devices to fingerprint commonly used construction materials;
  • Gathering uniformity measurements on new hot-mix asphalt (HMA) layers;
  • Identifying delaminations between HMA layers;
  • Conducting real-time smoothness measurements on portland cement concrete;
  • Continuous deflection pavement measuring; and
  • Mapping voids, debonding, delaminations, moisture, and other defects behind or within tunnel linings.

To learn more about the NDToolbox, read SHRP 2 Report S2-R06A-RR-1: Nondestructive Testing to Identify Concrete Bridge Deck Deterioration.

Design Guide for Bridges for Service Life

As limited resources demand enhancing service life of existing and new bridges, designing for service life is gaining importance. The cost of addressing service life issues at the design stage is significantly lower than taking maintenance and preservation actions while the bridge is in service. To provide information and define procedures for systematically designing for service life, SHRP 2 Project R19A (Bridges for Service Life beyond 100 Years: Innovative Systems, Subsystems and Components) developed Design Guide for Bridges for Service Life, which can be used for both new and existing bridges. The objective of the Guide is to equip the user with the knowledge to develop specific optimal solutions for a bridge under consideration in a systematic manner using a framework that is both universal and adaptable.

FHWA Hydraulic Design Series 7 (HDS 7) – “Hydraulic design of Safe Bridges”

The FHWA Office of Bridge Technology and Resource Center have recently administered a contract to develop a new publication to provide technical information and guidance on the hydraulic analysis and design of bridges. This new publication is titled Hydraulic Design Series 7 (HDS 7), “Hydraulic Design of Safe Bridges.”

Read the Distribution Memorandum and Download the HDS 7 Publication.

Coatings and Treatments for Beam Ends

The Pennsylvania DOT has issued a report containing an in-depth analysis of new and existing types of beam end coatings and treatments that have been proven to extend the life of new and existing concrete and steel bridge beams.

Waterproofing Membranes for Concrete Bridge Decks

This synthesis, which updates NCHRP Synthesis 220 on the same topic published in 1995, documents information on materials, specification requirements, design details, application methods, system performance, and costs of waterproofing membranes used on new and existing bridge decks since 1995. The synthesis focuses on North American practices with some information provided about systems used in Europe and Asia.

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