Protocols for Concrete Bridge Deck Protections and Treatments

In cold climate zones, deicing chemicals are applied to roads and bridge decks to melt snow and ice to help maintain safe traffic operations. Bridges are vulnerable to the use of deicing chemicals that may include chlorides. Over time, chlorides infiltrate the concrete deck and reach reinforcement within the deck. Most deicing chemicals have a detrimental effect to the long-term condition of the bridge deck by promoting corrosion of the deck reinforcement and deterioration of the concrete. Bridge owners are faced with a number of strategies and tools to maximize the life of bridge decks. Many of these tools include crack filling and penetrant sealers or crack filling and/or thin overlays that are applied as methods to retard the infiltration of chlorides or to seal the deck from these chlorides. Penetrant sealers generally require more frequent (4-5 years) applications than thin polymer overlays (10-12 years). However, the application cost of the penetrant sealer is significantly less than the thin polymer overlay. The objective of this research is to develop recommendations and guidelines for protocols on the use of crack and penetrant deck sealers and thin polymer overlays. The recommendations should take the form of a lifecycle guide that would efficiently maximize the condition and longevity of bridge decks. The lifecycle guide should address progressive strategies and treatments (i.e., penetrant sealers, crack sealing, thin overlay, concrete overlay, deck replacement, etc.) and the transition points in the bridge deck criteria in which the optimal treatment should be applied to the bridge deck (i.e. age, condition state, presence of chlorides, etc.), as well as the application frequency, and the point in the lifecycle where the treatment is no longer an effective or economical strategy.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $140000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Wisconsin Department of Transportation

    4802 Sheboygan Avenue
    Madison, WI  United States  53707
  • Performing Organizations:

    Iowa State University, Ames

    Center for Transportation Research and Education
    2711 South Loop Drive, Suite 4700
    Ames, IA  United States  50010-8664
  • Principal Investigators:

    Aldemir Bektas, Basak

  • Start Date: 20171002
  • Expected Completion Date: 20200801
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01668933
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Wisconsin Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 00092-18-03
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 10 2017 12:45PM