Clearing the Decks

by Virginia Fairweather, Editor; Civil Engineering, 345 E. 47th St., New York, NY 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1985, Vol. 55, Issue 9, Pg. 56-59

Document Type: Feature article


Cathodic protection, an electrical-chemical process that prevents corrosion of steel rebars on bridge decks, is rapidly gaining acceptance by highway engineers and state highway departments. The Federal Highway Administration strongly endorses the method and 100% federal funding for installations is avilable. Several methods are currently used, among them the coke-asphalt overlay, the FHWA slot system, the mount system, a variation on the slot, distributed anodes, and zinc metallizing. All are described, along with advantages and disadvantages as seen by the experts and system users interviewed. The first such application of the method was on a bridge deck in California in 1973; there are now about 125 cathodic protection systems installed. In addition, cathodic protection is increasingly being used on bridge substructures and this application is also described.

Subject Headings: Bridge decks | Highway bridges | Cathodic protection | Bridge management | Decks | Steel bridges | Highway engineering | Federal government | California | United States

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