Bridge Deck Protection and Resurfacing

by Roland A. Pettitt, (M.ASCE), Materials Engineer; Utilities and Engrg. Div., The Zia Co., Los Alamos, NM,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 4, Pg. 791-802

Document Type: Journal Paper


As a result of the Ohio River Bridge failure at Point Pleasant, West Virginia in 1967, periodic inspections of bridges are requested by the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads. The importance of bridge deck inspection and maintenance was emphasized in a 1964 Highway Research Board Report. The key to extended life of bridge decks, and sometimes to the safety of the entire bridge structure, is found in maintaining the water-tight integrity of the deck. Periodic inspections should logically lead to timely preventive maintenance practices. The history of the Los Alamos Canyon Bridge at Los Alamos, New Mexico, and the continuing investigation of protection materials is used as a typical example of bridge deck inspection and maintenance practices. Protection methods are divided into two categories: (1) Protective coatings for water proofing the original bridge deck surface; and (2) protective coverings which provide a new wearing surface as well as sealing and waterproofing the deck.

Subject Headings: Bridge decks | Bridge management | Inspection | Maintenance | Bridge failures | Highway bridges | Structural safety | Rivers and streams | Ohio River | West Virginia | New Mexico | United States

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