About the research
Several state and county engineers are facing the daunting task of maintaining an inventory of corroding steel structures. Capitalizing on the superior strength and durability properties of ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC), an innovative solution will be developed, tested, and demonstrated through this research project. This will lead to substantial advances in the repair and retrofit of steel bridges subjected to corrosive environments. The use of UHPC is believed to introduce a broad spectrum of benefits in both the short and long term. Specifically, UHPC offers a workable repair that can be applied in the field with minimum equipment requirements. This significantly expedites the repair process, resulting in minimized road closures and traffic disruptions. When repaired using UHPC, steel girders will not only regain their lost structural capacity but will also be protected against corrosive environments by a strong yet passive layer. This is an important feature, which will greatly extend the expected service life of steel bridge girders without having to repeat maintenance actions every few years.
To achieve the ultimate goal of this research project, a holistic set of research tasks and activities have been planned, including conceptual designs, numerical simulations, laboratory investigations, and a field demonstration. With the development of supporting technology transfer materials, the outcome of this project is expected to pave the way to utilizing the advantages of this repair solution for future use and implementation in various state- and county-owned steel bridges.