Title: Maintenance-Free Bridge Deck
Author(s): S. B. Quinn
Publication: Symposium Paper
Appears on pages(s): 169-184
Keywords: bridge decks; concrete construction; concrete durability; concrete slabs; curing; inspection; maintenance; plasticizers; quality control; specifications; water-cement ratio; Construction
Concrete bridge decks have long been a problem for the design and construction industry. They have a tendency to crack and/or spall over time. The deicing process then creates problems because of salt intrusion into cracks. These cause spalling and ultimate deterioration of the reinforcing steel and the load-carrying ability of the concrete slab. The author wrote specifications concerning methods to produce a bridge deck that should be relatively crack free and thus enhance the long-term durability of the slab. Some items specified included long-term wet-mat curing, better concrete quality control, and a reduction of the water-cement ratio by 20 percent below standard specifications. He further discusses the utilization of retarders and high-range water reducers to accomplish the objective. The author then covers other methods in the literature such as epoxy-coated reinforcing bars as part of the overall process to produce a bridge deck that is relatively maintenance free over the long term.