Overview of Testing to Failure Program of a Highway Bridge Strengthened with FRP Composites


This paper presents an overview of a research program aimed at validating the effectiveness of strengthening highway bridges with FRP composites. The validation is carried out by performing load tests to failure on the decks and piers of an existing bridge. The selected bridge is a solid slab reinforced concrete structure and is representative of bridges constructed in Mid-America during the first half of this century. Two of the three decks were strengthened with externally bonded unidirectional carbon FRP sheets and near-surface mounted carbon FRP rods. Elastic tests were conducted on the decks using a moving vehicle. These tests were conducted prior to and after strengthening as well as after cutting the bridge parapets. The decks were tested to failure under static loads. At different stages of damage, as caused by the static loads, the decks were subjected to the dynamic force applied by a shaker in an attempt to correlate dynamic signature to the level of damage. The piers, originally designed for gravity loads, were seismically upgraded. Piers were strengthened using near-surface mounted carbon FRP rods as well as jackets made of continuous FRP sheets. The piers were tested to failure under cyclic static loading. The research program results indicate that FRP materials can effectively be used for strengthening reinforced concrete bridge structures.

Meeting Name

4th International Symposium on FRP for Reinforcement of Concrete Structures (FRPRCS4) (1999: Oct. 31-Nov. 5, Baltimore, MD)


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 1999 Structural Group Inc., All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Nov 1999

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