Life-cycle fire performance assessment and enhancement of reinforced concrete bridges in chloride-laden environments

Bridge fires have increased in frequency with the growing use and transportation of highly flammable liquids and large-size batteries. The increasing frequency, intensity, and duration of wildfire as a result of changing climate may pose an even more serious fire threat to bridges. Furthermore, reinforced concrete (RC) bridges in coastal environments or cold climates are at the risk of chloride-induced corrosion of the reinforcing steel, which degrades their fire resistance significantly over time. In response to these needs, new materials have been introduced and utilized in bridge construction to improve the fire resistance of RC bridges. However, their time-dependent behavior under the combined effects of fire and corrosion has not been extensively studied. In addition, aleatory and epistemic uncertainties in material properties and performance assessment as well as deep uncertainties arising from climate change and the use of new materials have not been well characterized in the time-dependent performance assessment models of RC bridges. The overarching goal of this proposed project is to assess and enhance the life-cycle fire performance of RC bridges in chloride-laden environments. Specifically, the research team will consider climate change impact on chloride-induced deterioration and subsequent effects on the fire performance of two types of reinforced concrete: ordinary Portland cement concrete (OPCC) and fly-ash-based geopolymer concrete (GPC). First, the team will evaluate the fire performance of both reinforced OPCC and reinforced GPC through experiments and stochastically model their time-dependent fire performance in chloride-laden environments over their service lives. Then, the team will quantify the life-cycle fire performance of these two types of RC bridges (i.e., OPCC and GPC) under deep uncertainties. Finally, the team will develop a dynamic rolling-horizon model that can optimize the timings of implementing fire-performance-enhancing strategies. The results from this project will provide useful information on which type of RC bridge has a higher long-term fire resistance and is more robust against uncertain future and how life-cycle fire performance can be enhanced by dynamically optimized maintenance schedule.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $198304
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transportation Infrastructure Durability & Life Extension

    Washington State University
    Civil & Environmental Engineering
    Pullman, Washington  United States  99164

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Transportation Infrastructure Durability & Life Extension

    Washington State University
    Civil & Environmental Engineering
    Pullman, Washington  United States  99164
  • Project Managers:

    Kline, Robin

  • Performing Organizations:

    Washington State University, Pullman

    Civil & Environmental Engineering Department
    PO Box 642910
    Pullman, WA  United States  99164-2910
  • Principal Investigators:

    Yun Lee, Ji

  • Start Date: 20221001
  • Expected Completion Date: 20230930
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers
  • Subprogram: Transportation Infrastructure Durability and Life Extension

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01890851
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Center for Transportation Infrastructure Durability and Life-Extension
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551947137
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 23 2023 9:06PM