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Beam End Repair Using Ultra-High Performance Concrete

Beam End Repair Using Ultra-High Performance Concrete

What is Beam End Repair Using Ultra-High Performance Concrete?

Using Ultra-High Performance Concrete as an accelerated repair technique for steel bridge beam ends. 

More about Beam End Repair Using Ultra-High Performance Concrete

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Beam End Repair Using Ultra-High Performance Concrete

Per the ASCE 2021 Infrastructure Report Card, nearly 42 percent of the nation's 600,000 plus bridges are at least 50 years old, and 7.5% of them are rated as structurally deficient. Faced with the growing backlog of bridge repair needs amidst chronic funding shortages, highway agencies are continually exploring innovative maintenance techniques to cost-effectively extend of the life of bridges. With approximately one-third of the nation's 600,000 plus bridges being made of steel, agencies are expending nearly $8.3 billion annually to address corrosion damage in steel bridges through various preservation and repair strategies. The structural repair of steel beam ends is one of them.

The conventional repair techniques for steel bridge beam ends entail the following: lifting of bridge members through jacking, installation of temporary supports, removal of the damaged beam sections, and welding with new steel. The conventional techniques are typically labor-intensive, costly, and time consuming, and furthermore, require lane closures for bridge repair, and frequent maintenance as the new steel continue to be susceptible to corrosion damage.

A new method for repairing deteriorated steel beam ends is to use Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) as a way to restore structural capacity lost through corrosion. The repair technique involves welding shear studs to the intact portions of the web plate and encasing the beam end with UHPC. This technique creates an alternate load path for bearing forces to bypass the corroded portion of the beam.

UHPC offers a cost effective and structurally efficient alternative to conventional techniques providing structural redundancy, superior mechanical and durability characteristics to protect against future deterioration. In addition, the significant versatility of UHPC allows it to be used on any geometry and deterioration level while expediting the time of repair and minimizing disruption caused by bridge closures to the traveling public.



Bartholomew P. Sweeney, PE, Chair
Transportation Division Chief ​- Bridges
Connecticut Department of Transportation
Phone: 860-594-3272

Zhanfei "Tom" Fan, PhD, PE
Transportation Engineer
Texas Department of Transportation
Phone: 713-802-5390

Jim Scarlata, PE
Structure Policy & Innovation Bureau, Major Projects Unit Manager
New York State Department of Transportation
Office: 518-485-0848

Bao K. Chuong, PE
Transportation Supervising Engineer/Project Manager
Connecticut Department of Transportation
Phone: 860-594-3316

Andrew Cardinali
Transportation Principal Engineer – State Bridge Design
Connecticut Department of Transportation
Phone: 860-594-3315