THE CONCRETE BRIDGE MAGAZINE

SPRING 2017

ASPIRE is a quarterly magazine published by PCI in cooperation with the associations of the National Concrete Bridge Council. The editorial content focuses on the latest technology and key issues in the Concrete Bridge Industry.

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F H WA 44 | ASPIRE Spring 2017 Advances in concrete technology—such as high-strength steel, microfiber reinforcement, superplasticizers, gradation optimization, and supplementary cementitious materials— began to be packaged together into a new g e n e r a t i o n o f c e m e n t i t i o u s c o m p o s i t e materials in the 1970s and 1980s. In the 1 9 9 0 s , t h i s n e w c l a s s o f m a t e r i a l s w a s brought to market and has become known as ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC). Today, UHPC is being adopted for a variety of different bridge cons tr uction and rehabilitation applications, including 100% UHPC structural elements, bridge d e c k ove r l a y s , j a c k e t s f o r c o l u m n s a n d driven piles, and field-cast connections between prefabricated bridge elements. This last application has proven to be a common entr y point for owners and an extremely popular solution across the United States and Canada. 1 Figure 1 depicts several applications w h e re U H P C p rov i d e d a s o l u t i o n t o a design- or construction-related challenge. The first North American deployment of UHPC in a bridge was in Canada in 1997; it would almost be a decade until the first U.S. bridge was constructed using UHPC in 2005. Now, just over a decade later, the growth in the total number of bridges constructed using this advanced material has increased significantly (Fig. 2). In fact, some state transportation agencies have or are planning t o i n t e g r a t e U H P C i n t o t h e i r s t a n d a rd practices and details. As Demand Grows, FHWA Supplies Knowledge As the demand for UHPC-class materials grows, so will the potential opportunities for suppliers of construction materials. These include current suppliers of UHPC-class One Step Ahead: FHWA Investigates Commercially Available UHPCs By Dr. Zachary B. Haber, Genex Systems, Dr. Igor De La Varga, SES Group, and Dr. Benjamin A. Graybeal, Federal Highway Administration Figure 1. Bridge design and construction solutions using ultra-high-performance concrete. All Figures: Federal Highway Administration. 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Total Number of Bridges Employing UHPC Year Constructed US Canada Figure 2. Chronology of bridge construction in North America with ultra-high-performance concrete.

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