Factors Affecting the Performance of Bridge Decks in Virginia

Report No: 92-R2

Published in 1991

About the report:

A detailed examination was made of 34 bridge decks, 11 to 30 years old, containing uncoated reinforcing steel. These bridges are located throughout Virginia. Cores were taken from each to evaluate the quality of the concrete with the objective of determining the relationship of concrete properties with the long-term performance of such bridge decks. It was shown that the greatest deterioration in these decks results from the ingress of chloride ions into the concrete, thus confirming the need for concretes with low permeabilities to be used in bridge decks. Low permeability is especially important where uncoated reinforcing steel is present. Some of the bridges examined in this study were constructed prior to 1966 when changes were made in the Virginia Department of Transportation's specifications. However, other than entrained air content, there is a relatively narrow range of measured quality parameters for these concretes, and most are considered to be of acceptable quality. Accordingly, specific numerical relationships between the concrete properties studied and the environmental and traffic conditions or the deterioration of the bridge decks were not established.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

Woodrow J. Halstead

Last updated: December 25, 2023

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