Making the Most of HPC

by Walter Podolny, Jr., Former Sr. Structure Engineer; Ofc. of Bridge Tech., Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2001, Vol. 71, Issue 2, Pg. 54-57

Document Type: Feature article


Developing high-performance concrete (HPC) was only the first step toward bringing a material with improved durability, strength, constructability, and mechanical properties to the bridge and tunnel design industry. High-performance concrete must become part of the building codes in the United States, as it has in many other countries, before it will be widely and successfully used. And innovative financing methods for this new material must be explored further, including design-build-operate contracts and habitable bridges, which can help pay for themselves by offering commercial space within the pylons or right-of-way of bridges, for example. Only then can HPC's true potential to inspire creative design forms�including enclosed bridges that protect the roadway from the environment, and submerged tubular bridges that are easier to construct than tunnels�be realized.

Subject Headings: Bridge design | Material properties | Strength of materials | Material durability | Highway and road design | High-performance concrete | Construction materials

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