Evaluation of Performance of Innovative Bridges in Wisconsin

Research Project


Evaluation of Performance of Innovative Bridges in Wisconsin


Principal investigators: Brent Phares, 515-294-5879, bphares@iastate.edu (project list), Iowa State University

Project status


Start date: 11/17/14
End date: 07/17/16


Report: September 2016, Evaluation of Performance of Innovative Bridges in Wisconsin 1.03 mb (*pdf)

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Sponsor(s): Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Wisconsin Highway Research Program

About the research


Since the early 2000s, several federal programs have existed to provide bridge owners with funding to cover “delta” costs associated with implementing new, emerging, and innovative bridge technologies. While these programs have generally included an evaluation component, there generally has not been a concerted effort to track the performance of these innovative bridges following the completion of the initial project.

The goal of this work was to conduct field reviews of the condition and performance of several innovative bridge concepts constructed in Wisconsin. The completion of this work was to provide a much needed review of the performance of these bridge as they had been in service for several years.

This report documents the condition of 11 innovative bridges or innovative bridge features in Wisconsin. The bridges have innovative technologies consisting of the following: inverted T-beams, exodermic deck, geosynthetic-reinforced soil (GRS) abutments, fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) components, steel free deck, bi-directional post-tensioning, stainless steel reinforcement, and precast substructure components. Collectively, these innovations represent departures from conventional bridge design and construction—but aren’t so radical that further adoption would be impossible.

The results of the 11 bridge evaluations, each of which followed a protocol specific to the bridge, are contained in a mini-report as part of this final report. Each mini-report documents general bridge information, briefly describes the innovation used, and provides the result of the evaluation.

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