World War II Concrete Structures on Guam


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Title: World War II Concrete Structures on Guam

Author(s): Caroly L. Searls, Deborah Slaton and Sven E. Thomason

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 128


Appears on pages(s): 1335-1346

Keywords: bridges (structures); corrosion; cracking (fracturing); deterioration; erosion; inspection; masonry walls; rehabilitation; repairs; seepage; spalling; stabilization; tests; General

Date: 11/1/1991

The island of Guam is located in the Mariana Islands chain in the Pacific, approximately 3800 miles west of Hawaii. This small island played an important role in World War II, when it was occupied by the Japanese and recaptured by American forces. In 1978, the war in the Pacific National Historical Park was established to commemorate those involved in the assault and defense of the island as well as Guam's residents during the war. Approximately 100 extant military structures are located within park boundaries. As part of a National Park Service program to preserve the site and its features as an historic park, a survey was made of 12 structures including four pillboxes, four gun emplacements, two bridges, one masonry wall, and one partially submerged latrine foundation. The surveyed structures are all partially or totally constructed of concrete. Some local materials were used in construction, including coral sand, seawater, coconut logs for formwork, and chain link fence for reinforcing in some structures. An on-site investigation conducted in February, 1990, included documentation and assessment of existing conditions, preparation of measure drawings, and removal of samples for laboratory analysis. Observed deterioration included cracks, water leakage, surface erosion, corrosion of embedded steel, spalls, growth of vegetation, soil subsidence, war damage, and adverse effects from visitors. Based on the results of visual inspection and testing, the structures were evaluated and categorized in terms of deterioration and level of required intervention. This information is being used to develop recommendations for repair, stabilization, and restoration.