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01.09.2014 | Article | Ausgabe 3/2014 Open Access

International Journal of Concrete Structures and Materials 3/2014

Synthesis of DOT Use of Beam End Protection for Extending the Life of Bridges

Aleksandra Radlińska, Leslie Myers McCarthy, James Matzke, Francis Nagel


As the national transportation infrastructure ages and deteriorates, many existing bridges require frequent and costly maintenance and repairs. The objective of this work was to synthesize new and existing types of beam end coatings and treatments that have been proven to extend the life of new and existing concrete and steel bridge beams. A comprehensive literature review, along with online surveys and phone interviews of State department of transportations (DOTs) and coating manufacturers was conducted to gather information about existing and recently developed technologies. The study revealed that while many promising coatings and treatments are offered on the market, there is a lack of readily available laboratory results that would enable direct comparison of the available methods. This finding applies in terms of the coatings’ durability and the potential for extending the service life of existing bridges. Most of the interviewed State DOTs’ personnel assessed the products listed in respective DOT’s Qualified Products Lists as performing ‘well’. However, there was significant variability between states in the type of the products used. Among the agencies contacted, none was able to suggest the most promising or advanced products, either for concrete or steel bridge beam end treatments. This suggests that comprehensive laboratory evaluation would be necessary for selecting the best available beam end treatments and coatings.
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