Life-Cycle Cost Analysis of Alternative Reinforcement Materials for Bridge Superstructures Considering Cost and Maintenance Uncertainties

by Christopher D. Eamon, (corresponding author), (M.ASCE), Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Wayne State Univ., Detroit, MI 48202.,,
Elin A. Jensen, (M.ASCE), Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research; Lawrence Technological Univ., Southfield, MI 48075.,
Nabil F. Grace, (F.ASCE), Dean and Distinguished Professor; College of Engineering, Lawrence Technological Univ., Southfield, MI 48075.,
Xiuwei Shi, Graduate Student; Civil Engineering, Lawrence Technological Univ., Southfield, MI 48075.,

Serial Information: Issue 4, Pg. 373-380

Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: A life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) was conducted on prestressed concrete bridge superstructures using carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) bars and strands. Traditional reinforcement materials of uncoated steel with cathodic protection and epoxy-coated steel were also considered for comparison. A series of deterministic LCCAs were first conducted to identify a range of expected cost outcomes for different bridge spans and traffic volumes. Then, a probabilistic LCCA was conducted on selected structures that included activity timing and cost random variables. It was found that although more expensive initially, the use of CFRP reinforcement has the potential to achieve significant reductions in life-cycle cost, having a 95% probability to be the least expensive alternative beginning at year 23–77 after initial construction, depending on the bridge case considered. In terms of life-cycle cost, the most effective use of CFRP reinforcement was found to be for an AASHTO beam bridge in a high traffic volume area.

Subject Headings: Life cycles | Fiber reinforced polymer | Concrete bridges | Maintenance | Construction materials | Uncertainty principles | Carbon fibers | Superstructures | Bridge tests | Fiber reinforced concrete | Steel | Bars (structure) |

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