Research Activities: 2003

Preservation of Missouri Transportation Infrastructure: Flexural upgrade of Deficient Bridges with Composites



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Sequential Number


Matching Research Agency

Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT)

Principal Investigator

Dr. John J. Myers, P.E.
Assistant Professor
Missouri University of Science & Technology

325 Butler-Carlton Hall
Rolla, Missouri, 65409
p(573) 341-6618
f(573) 341-6215

Student Involvement

One graduate research assistant

Project Objective

The overall goal of this research program is to make the technology of bridge strengthening with composites fully available to bridge owners and professionals. The program aims to provide sound and economical methods to help with the preservation of Missouri transportation infrastructure. The technology for strengthening existing concrete bridges using fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) materials is well founded, with many international guides now having been written (ACI-440 Committee 2002; fib TG9.3 Committee 2001; JSCE Sub-Committee 1997), but transfer of this technology to bridge owners, in particular, needs to be conducted as a matter of urgency.

Project Abstract

This research program will therefore focus on bridge superstructure and, in particular, on the strengthening of reinforced concrete (RC) bridges with single or multiple spans acting as simply supported members, with the purpose of increasing their flexural capacities. Shear strengthening of girders will not be undertaken unless calculations show that it is necessary, and MoDOT agrees that such shear strengthening should be undertaken. The advanced material systems to be utilized in this research program will be limited to two much-used forms of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites: externally bonded CFRP laminates installed by manual lay up or adhered as pre-cured laminates; and near surface mounted (NSM) FRP bars.


Anticipated Benefits

The goal of this project, translated into an operative mandate, means the development of specifications in AASHTO language that cover all aspects of the strengthening process, starting from the assessment and evaluation of the candidate structure prior to strengthening, and finishing with its inspection and maintenance after strengthening is completed. Through MoDOT coordination, AASHTO Technical Committee T-21 will be informed with regard to the work being conducted by the Missouri S&T (formerly UMR) team. This will include holding periodic meetings with the committee, and providing technical assistance as requested by the committee, including yearly reports.


Modal Orientation

Bridge Assessment


Project Start Date:05/01/2003
Project End Date:07/31/2008

Relationship to other Research/Projects


Technology Transfer Activities

The Missouri S&T (formerly UMR) team will also communicate on a regular basis with the composites industry and industry-sponsored organizations that are developing industry standards which would be compatible with AASHTO specifications, and with professional and trade organizations that are compiling syntheses of existing specifications.

Transportation Research Board Keywords

Transportation, Infrastructure