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” 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.