Mars Hill Bridge, Iowa, USA - Precast Elements


The first North American Ductal® highway bridge was completed in 2006, in Wapello County, Iowa. The project was a direct result of five years of collaborative research & development between the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Iowa Department of Transport, Iowa State University and Lafarge North America. Constructed under the "Innovative Bridge Construction Program" (part of the FHWA "Bridge of the Future" Program), the Wapello County/Mars Hill Bridge is a simple, single-span with a 3-beam cross section and three 110-ft (33.53 m) Ductal® girders -- with no rebar for (shear) stirrups! Ongoing R & D at the FHWA continues to demonstrate the use of UHPC for bridges, generate comparative case studies, validate designs without rebar and give confidence to state/ provincial transportation engineers. The ultimate goal is to build highway bridges (utilizing the optimized pi-girder at the FHWA's lab), which includes a Ductal® deck without rebar -- thereby removing the source of problems (corroding rebar) with today's highway bridges.

In 2006, this project won a PCA (Portland Cement Association) Concrete Bridge Award, a bi-annual competition that rewards excellence in design and construction of concrete bridges in Canada and the United States.

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