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Innovative CFRP Prestressed Concrete Box-Beam Bridge System

Prestressed concrete box-beams are one of the most commonly used structural components for the construction of small and medium span highway bridges in the United States. However, the problems experienced by this type of bridge in various states are serious. These problems include: (1) deterioration of concrete resulting from corrosion of steel reinforcements, (2) longitudinal cracks in the deck slabs between the box beams, and (3) leakage problems due to the deck slab longitudinal cracks. These combined problems mandate significant and continuously increasing maintenance costs to repair and restore the load carrying capacity of this type of bridge.<br/><br/>To solve the above-listed problems, an innovative design and construction approach of a new and long lasting box-beam bridge system using carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) needs to be developed, evaluated, and implemented. In addition, the developed approach must allow for the timely reconstruction of box-beam bridges to alleviate the disruption to traffic. This development and evaluation will require extensive collaboration among: CFRP tendon/stirrup fabricators, precaster/contractors, academia, and end users. This study will be conducted at Lawrence Technological University with collaboration from Diversified Composites, Inc, Prestressed System, Inc. (PSI), and Michigan DOT.<br/>In the first phase, four full-scale box-beams, two beams with and two beams without PT tendons will be tested under service, fatigue, and ultimate loading. The second phase will address the behavior of two bridge models during various stages of construction and in service.<br/>The proposed RUI collaboration will be extended to teaching and seminar activities for our undergraduate students. The FRP producer, precaster, and MDOT engineers will be guest lecturers at LTU. The university undergraduate research team and the industrial partners will provide seminars at the annual meetings of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and at meetings of the Great Lakes DOTs Consortium.<br/>Collaboration between university and CFRP-manufacturer/MDOT/CFRP-precaster will result in the development of an innovative corrosion/maintenance-free CFRP prestressed concrete box-beam bridge system.

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