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Bridge Treatment Modifications

Situation

TxDOT previously required use of concrete surface treatment on new concrete bridge decks. The substantial cost of this protective method called for critical proof of its effectiveness.

Subsequent studies indicated that this costly treatment is not as effective as it was assumed to be: sealers are not penetrating to depths previously suggested, and cyclic reapplication would be required to maintain sealer effectiveness.

In short, the concrete surface treatment method’s benefits did not outweigh the substantial costs.

Solution

Given these concerns, TxDOT’s Bridge Division conducted a review of other bridge corrosion protection methods including high performance concrete, additional clear cover, and epoxy-coated rebar.

Findings indicate that these methods are sufficient to ensure a long service life.

Cost Savings

Adjusting this surface treatment strategy has led to $2 million in cost avoidance annually.

This is a great example of how TxDOT is revisiting requirements across all aspects of the department to ensure associated benefits outweigh the costs.