Heading South US with Ductal® Bridge Solutions


Why Georgia and South Carolina DOTs decided to try Ductal® for the first time!


In North America, Ductal® Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) has to date, been used on approximately 200 infrastructure projects in 26 states and 5 provinces. Consequently, a growing number of bridge owners are aware of the superior properties and benefits that UHPC bridge solutions can provide – such as strength, durability, ductility, speed of construction and extended usage life.

Nevertheless, it can take years for bridge owners to review and specify UHPC on one of their projects. Typically, Department of Transportation (DOT) officials will work with local universities to validate a specific application prior to a first deployment on site. The Ductal® team also collaborates with universities across North America and, as a result, more bridge owners are trying UHPC solutions for the first time each year.

Ductal® joint fill casting on-site

Ductal® “Joint Fill” is often cast on-site to connect precast concrete deck panels and other precast elements. This construction method permits faster completion by comparison to a conventional cast-in-place bridge deck. For each project, the owner will review costs benefits and, in many cases, Accelerated Bridge Construction (“ABC”) is not the most important factor.  However, in areas where long traffic delays and extended road closures may occur, the use of prefabricated elements makes sense… and that is where Ductal® can add value to a project.

Recently, Ductal® was used for the first time in South Carolina and Georgia. Georgia DOT (GDOT) had prior ABC experience and decided to use Ductal® on a full-depth deck panel project on Route 211 over Beech Creek, northeast of Atlanta.  Construction of the 148 ft (45 m) single span bridge was completed in 59 days, which was very fast compared to their cast-in-place projects.  

Installing precast concrete deck panels - Beech Creek, Georgia. GDOT Photo.

Going forward, GDOT will use UHPC to reduce road closure time.  For simple structures, they expect completion in about one month, now that they have learned to work with precast deck panels and UHPC connections.  ABC methods are typically more expensive than cast-in-place construction methods and, for the Beech Creek project, the premium was about 30%. The important, main benefit however, is significantly reduced road-closure time and user-inconvenience

In March 2017, representatives from GDOT presented this innovative project in a special, one-hour webinar, titled “Georgia’s Rapid Replacement Utilizing Full-Depth Precast Deck Panels with UHPC Closure Joints”.  Included are design and construction details as well as lessons learned.


Click on the following link to see the complete article:


South Carolina DOT (SCDOT) took a different approach. Before specifying their first UHPC project in February 2016, they worked with Clemson University to review a number of parameters and eventually decided to try UHPC on a 220 ft (67 m) long, 4-span bridge in Lancaster County, where traditional construction details and techniques would also be used, allowing for easy comparison of the systems, side-by-side.  The contractor had to use a UHPC mix design based on performance requirements and selected Ductal®.  The bridge was completed in the summer of 2017.  Clemson University will continue to be involved by monitoring and documenting the project over the next few years.  Prior to future/further use of UHPC, SCDOT will wait to review the data to ensure that the UHPC solution is performing to their expectations. 

With a high number of prior, proven successes behind us, the Ductal® team fully expects that SCDOT will be satisfied with the data and choose UHPC solutions for more projects in the years ahead.

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Joint Fill

Ductal® joint fill connections provide durable, long-lasting solutions for bridge construction & rehabilitation projects that complement Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC).