In their continuing effort to mitigate bridge deck cracking, KDOT has partnered with GBA to evaluate a new way to reinforce bridge decks: glass fiber reinforced polymer rebar (GFRP).
Being an inert non-corrosive material, the GFRP is not expected to react to de-icing salts that typically corrode reinforcing steel. To test this, GBA designed twin bridge decks — one with GFRP and one with standard epoxy-coated reinforcing steel rebar.
|Glass Fiber Reinforcing Bars|
As the bridge decks age and are subjected to truck loading and corrosive runoff water, KDOT will be able to draw conclusions about the long-term durability of the GFRP. In addition to the deck replacement, plans were also provided for girder strengthening, approach slab replacement, and detailed traffic management.
While the initial construction bid increased approximately one percent due to the GFRP, it is anticipated the life cycle cost of the project will more than gain that amount back due to reduced maintenance costs.