Stronger Longer

by Timothy Ernest Bradberry, P.E., Struct. Engr. and Res. Proj. Dir.; Texas Dept. of Transp. in Austin, TX,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2001, Vol. 71, Issue 4, Pg. A10-A16

Document Type: Feature article


Like many older concrete bridges, the Sierrita de la Cruz Creek Bridge, a 1957 crossing near Amarillo, Texas, suffered from concrete deterioration. When the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) decided to replace the bridge, it created a 53 ft (170 m) long structure that will use glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) rebar to reinforce the two southernmost spans of the new bridge's deck, and traditional epoxy-coated steel (EPS) rebar for the rest. Specifying the GFRP rebar was no easy task, as no official codes for its use are yet in place. The author adapted calculations for EPS rebar to the GFRP bars that are made by several manufacturers, each of which had its own unique characteristics. He determined that the crack widths in the concrete had to be limited to 0.5 mm, and therefore the spacing of the GFRP bar had to be much closer than that of the EPS bar. The portion of the deck with the GFRP reinforcement will be monitored to determine its performance versus the steel-reinforced sections.

Subject Headings: Fiber reinforced polymer | Glass fibers | Reinforcing steel | Concrete bridges | Steel decks | Steel bridges | Bridge decks

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