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Development of an Ultra-High Performance Concrete Precast Bridge Deck Element

Project Information

Project ID: 
Project Status: 
Start Date: 
Monday, January 1, 2007
End Date: 
Sunday, September 30, 2007
FHWA Program: 
FHWA Subprogram: 
FHWA Activity: 
Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC)
FHWA Topics: 
Research/Technologies--FHWA Research and Technology; Research/Technologies--Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC); Road Operations and Congestion--Congestion Mitigation; Roads and Bridges--Design; Roads and Bridges--Structures
TRT Terms: 
Concrete Structures; Infrastructure; Bridges; Concrete; Research; Bridge Decks; Construction
FHWA Discipline: 
Design, Structures
TRB Subject Area: 
Bridges and other structures, Research, Materials

Contact Information

First Name: 
Last Name: 
(202) 493-3122
Bridge Engineering Team
Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Office Code: 

Project Details

Project Description: 

Ultra-high performance concrete is in a relatively new class of cementitious materials. These concretes demonstrate good durability properties, high compressive strength, and usable tensile resistance. The high compressive and useable tensile resistance can lead to smaller and more efficient precast cross sections. Smaller precast cross sections result in lower member self weights, which in turn can allow for easier transportation, longer span or shallower depth superstructures, and reduced foundation requirements. The durability properties of ultra-high performance concrete specifically lend themselves toward use in the most environmentally stressed portions of the Nation's bridge inventory, namely the decks. The advanced properties of ultra-high performance concrete allow for the development of new structural systems. This research project focuses on the development of a precast full-depth bridge deck component that can be used both in new construction as well as in the redecking of existing bridges. A two-way ribbed slab system shows promise when combined with the properties of ultra-high performance concrete. As compared to standard cast-in-place concrete bridge decks, this system can be lighter in weight, develop composite action from built-in pockets, utilize the durability properties of ultra-high performance concrete while decreasing the volume of required material, and efficiently use the ultra-high performance concrete tensile and compressive resistances. The project includes component development, outreach efforts to initiate first deployment, and practical and analytical efforts to support deployment(s).


The key project objective is to assist stakeholders by developing a new means for the accelerated redecking of bridge structures with an extremely durable and robust system. This is to be accomplished by developing a practical optimized ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) bridge deck element, and then working with appropriate stakeholders to begin deploying the technology.


Deliverable Name: 
Analysis of an Ultra-High Performance Concrete Two-Way Ribbed Bridge Deck Slab
Deliverable Type: 
Deliverable Description: 
The product is a TechBrief summarizing the results of the project.
Deliverable Name: 
National Technical Information Service Report
Deliverable Type: 
Research report or guidelines
Deliverable Description: 
The product is a research report detailing the full results of the project.
Deliverable Name: 
Deployed Project
Deliverable Type: 
Deliverable Description: 
The concept developed in this project has resulted in the planned construction of a bridge in the summer of 2011.