Using Cathodic Protection to Mitigate Corrosion of Reinforced Concrete and Structural Steel Components of Highway Structures

In 2003, the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) estimated that the cost of corrosion to bridge infrastructure was $8.3 billion annually. In a follow-up study in 2013, the global cost of corrosion was estimated to be US$2.5 trillion, which was equivalent to 3.4% of the global GDP. Ten years on, those costs are likely to have substantially increased. Corrosion deterioration of highway bridges significantly impacts the overall service life of the structures, which can lead to costly repairs for the bridge owners and high indirect costs and disruption for the users. The application of cathodic protection (CP) can control corrosion and extend the service life of highway structures. Many state DOTs use CP in various applications, depending on their regional environments and experience with the technology, to preserve and extend the service life of structures. Several different CP products, solutions, and applications are available for mitigation of reinforced concrete or structural steel corrosion, and new technologies are being developed each year. Highway structures throughout the United States are exposed to a wide variety of environments (e.g., a marine structure in coastal Florida, a bridge in Minnesota exposed to deicing chemicals) for which corrosion challenges vary. Therefore, DOTs use an array of CP solutions to maintain structures across a range of environments. The methods by which DOTs monitor these systems also varies. The objective of the synthesis is to document (1) the different types of CP methods and their applications to mitigate corrosion in reinforced concrete and structural steel components of highway structures and (2) how DOTs currently implement and manage various CP systems.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $55000
  • Contract Numbers:

    20-05/Topic 56-08

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Harrigan, Edward

  • Start Date: 20240528
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01920082
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: 20-05/Topic 56-08
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 29 2024 5:14PM