Research Activities: 2003

Southview Bridge Rehabilitation in Rolla, Missouri




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Sequential Number


Matching Research Agency

City of Rolla and Missouri Department of Transportation

Principal Investigator

Antonio Nanni
Jones Professor of Civil Engineering
University of Missouri-Rolla
223 Engineering Research Laboratory
Rolla, MO 65409-0710
p(573) 341 4497
f(573) 341 6215

Student Involvement

Visiting Scholar: Gianpietro Boschetto, University of Padua, Italy

Project Objective

The City of Rolla has made available a bridge (Southview Drive on Carter Creek) to demonstrate the use of FRP composites in new construction. No steel reinforcement will be used in the construction of the new bridge deck for this project.


Project Abstract

The characteristics of the existing bridge are as follows:

Total length: 43 ft
Roadway width: 13 ft
Sidewalk: 5 ft

The existing and proposed addition are shown in the sketch below:

Deck Cross-Section


One lane of the bridge has already been constructed using a conventional four-cell steel reinforcement concrete (RC) box culvert. The abutments for the missing lane have also been constructed. One lane and the two sidewalks need to be added. The proposed project will demonstrate the use of glass FRP reinforcement for top and bottom mats and carbon FRP reinforcement for internal post-tensioning of the bridge deck. The project will include the following phases:

  • FRP materials characterization;
  • Bridge deck design;
  • Bridge construction with embedded instrumentation;
  • Laboratory tests of two full-size bridge deck panels;
  • Monitoring of the bridge over three years;
  • Evaluation including periodic load tests with measurements of deflection and crack width.

Prior to the construction of the bridge deck, two specimens representing a deck strip 18 inches wide and 23 feet long will be constructed by the same contractor and tested in the University laboratory. The two specimens are two spans strips, 12 and 6 feet long respectively. The 5 feet length remaining is required to provide sufficient development length at the supports and to allow the tensioning of the CFRP tendons.


Specimens Test Set-up


Anticipated Benefits

The construction of the bridge will demonstrate the use of FRP composite material in new construction instead of conventional steel reinforcement, avoiding the problems related to steel corrosion. Carbon FRP composite material is also used for internal post-tensioning of the concrete deck.

Modal Orientation

Assessment of FRP composite material as reinforcement in new construction and as internal post-tensioning in the bridge deck instead of steel.


Project Start Date:August 2003
Project End Date:September 2006

Relationship to other Research/Projects

Use of glass and carbon FRP rebars as concrete internal reinforcement

Technology Transfer Activities

Monitoring activities over three years (deflection deck and crack width measurements)

Transportation Research Board Keywords

Bridges, FRP