Research Activities: 2010

 Field Evaluation of Hybrid-Composite Girder Bridges in Missouri




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Sequential Number


Identification Number


Matching Research Agency


Missouri Department of Transportation


Principal Investigator

Dr. John J. Myers
Missouri University of Science and Technology
1401 North Pine Street
Rolla MO 65409
p 573-341-6618
f 573-341-4729

Student Involvement

Two graduate students


Project Objective

  1. Evaluate the in-situ structural behavior of the bridge to confirm to design assumptions.

    1. Measure displacements under controlled load, compare with theoretical expectations.

    2. Measure web strains to:

      1. Determine neutral axis location under different loading conditions.

      2. Evaluate bowing to the web from strut placement.

    3. Measure shear strains under different loading conditions.

    4. Evaluate damage in the area of the bearing / strand anchorage resulting from load tests.

  2. Conduct quality control/quality assurance testing on the bridge member

    1. Evaluate the quality of the flowable self-consolidating concrete installed in internal arch through visual and NDE techniques.

    2. Characterize the construction materials through standard quality control assurance testing (i.e. compressive strength of concrete, tensile strength of the tendon steel and composite shell, etc.).

    3. Evaluate the composite material for fabrication defects (delamination).

  3. Evaluate potential serviceability and maintenance challenges.

    1. Assess the long-term durability of the composite material through in-situ sacrificial tensile coupon specimens and softening of the structure through follow up load testing.

    2. Access if the composite may be damaged by the loading using nondestructive testing

    3. Evaluate potential long-term durability issues, including corrosion of the prestressing strands embedded in the member.


Project Abstract

On August 11th, 2010 the allocation of $360,000 in Highways for Life funds was made for the use of Hybrid Composite Beams (HCB) on Route 97 over Sons Creek in Dade County, one of three bridge replacements as part of the Safe and Sound Bridge Improvement Program.

These HCBs are comprised of three main sub-components that are a shell, compression reinforcement and tension reinforcement. In the preferred embodiment, the shell is comprised of a fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) box beam. The compression reinforcement consists of cement or concrete which is pumped into a profiled conduit within the beam shell. The tension reinforcement consists of carbon, glass or steel fibers anchored at the ends of the compression reinforcement.

This study examines the field performance of these HCB members through in-situ monitoring and load testing over a two year period.


Anticipated Benefits

Improved understanding of the short and long-term performance of HC beams under field condition.



Project Start Date: 07/01/2011
Project End Date:



Project Deliverables

A final report and final inspection guideline/recommendation will be submitted as the final project deliverable.


Technology Transfer Activities

A Technical Presentations and Technical Publication will consist of the technology transfer activity in addition to the final technical reporting.


Transportation Research Board Keywords

Hybrid-composite bridges, In-situ Monitoring, Load Testing, and Long-term Durability.