This report presents the use of externally bonded fiber reinforced polymers (FRP) laminates for the flexural strengthening of a concrete bridge. The bridge selected for this project is a two-span simply supported reinforced concrete slab with no transverse steel reinforcement located in Phelps County, MO. The original construction combined with the presence of very rigid parapets caused the formation of a 1-inch wide longitudinal crack, which resulted in the slab to behave as two separate elements. The structural behavior was verified using a finite element model (FEM) of the bridge. The bridge analysis was performed for maximum loads determined in accordance with AASHTO 4th edition. The strengthening scheme was designed in compliance with the ACI 440.2R-08 design guide for externally bonded FRP materials, to avoid further cracking and such that the transverse flexural capacity be higher than the cracking moment. The FRP strengthening technique was rapidly implemented. After the strengthening, a load test was performed to validate the bridge model and evaluate the structural behavior according to the AASHTO specifications. The bridge deck was retrofitted after the longitudinal crack was injected with epoxy to allow continuity in the cross section.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


United States. Department of Transportation
Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)


United States Department of Transportation Grant No. DTRS98-G-0021

Keywords and Phrases

Bridge; carbon fibers; FEM; fiber reinforced polymers; load test; reinforced concrete; strengthening

Report Number


Document Type

Technical Report

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2009 Center for Transportation Infrastructure and Safety/UTC program, Missouri University of Science and Technology, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 2009