Construction and Cost Analysis of an FRP Reinforced Concrete Bridge Deck

This paper describes the use of FRP materials as reinforcements and formwork for a concrete highway bridge deck. It describes the construction process and provides a cost analysis of the project. A continuing research program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is developing concepts for bridge decks reinforced with fiber reinforced polymers (FRP). This project involved the implementation of one of these concepts in a major highway bridge. Three forms of FRP reinforcing were combined to reinforce the concrete deck: FRP stay-in-place (SIP) forms, deformed FRP reinforcing bars (rebars), and a special prefabricated pultruded FRP reinforcing grid. The research project, supported by the Innovative Bridge Research and Construction Program (IBRC) in the United States, resulted in the construction of a two-span highway overpass on US Highway 151 in Wisconsin. Based on the analysis of the short-term material and labor costs it appears that given the savings in construction time and their potential long-term durability and maintenance benefits, FRP reinforcements for bridge decks may be cost-effective, notwithstanding their currently high initial costs. Optimization of FRP stay-in-place formwork is recommended to decrease the cost of the FRP reinforcing system in the future. This paper describes the use of FRP materials as reinforcements and formwork for a concrete highway bridge deck. It describes the construction process and provides a cost analysis of the project. A continuing research program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is developing concepts for bridge decks reinforced with fiber reinforced polymers (FRP). This project involved the implementation of one of these concepts in a major highway bridge. Three forms of FRP reinforcing were combined to reinforce the concrete deck: FRP stay-in-place (SIP) forms, deformed FRP reinforcing bars (rebars), and a special prefabricated pultruded FRP reinforcing grid. The research project, supported by the Innovative Bridge Research and Construction Program (IBRC) in the United States, resulted in the construction of a two-span highway overpass on US Highway 151 in Wisconsin. Based on the analysis of the short-term material and labor costs it appears that given the savings in construction time and their potential long-term durability and maintenance benefits, FRP reinforcements for bridge decks may be cost-effective, notwithstanding their currently high initial costs. Optimization of FRP stay-in-place formwork is recommended to decrease the cost of the FRP reinforcing system in the future.
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