Texas Tech University

Project 0-6731

Repair Systems for Deteriorated Bridge Piles

The objective of the proposed research project is to develop a durable repair system for deteriorated steel bridge piles that can be implemented without the need for dewatering. A rigorous survey of the relevant practice nationwide will be conducted to inform and direct the remaining research efforts. The current state-of-practice will be critically reviewed and the most promising alternatives will be identified for detailed investigation. The structural performance, constructability, and economy of the existing systems will be considered. A simplified but reliable framework for assessing the condition of deteriorated piles will be developed. The proposed framework will be used to direct the full-scale testing of artificially deteriorated and repaired piles. Accelerated environmental exposure tests will also be conducted to evaluate the durability of the different repair systems. The results of the full-scale tests and the environmental durability tests will be used to direct a life-cycle cost analysis to identify the most economical repair systems based on initial costs, life-cycle costs, agency costs, and user costs. To evaluate the performance of the repair systems in 'real' applications, field testing and long-term monitoring will be conducted at two bridge sites. Based on the research findings, guidelines for the design, construction, and maintenance of the proposed systems will be developed to facilitate transfer of the technology to TxDOT bridge maintenance operations. The successful completion of the proposed research project is expected to lead to the development of a new method and guidelines for repair of steel bridge piles which will significantly enhance the safety and economy of existing bridge infrastructure throughout the state.

Project PI: Sang-Wook Bae,Ph.D.

Project Duration: 2012-2015