Strength evaluation of deteriorated RC bridge columns

Tapan M., Aboutaha R. S.

JOURNAL OF BRIDGE ENGINEERING, vol.13, no.3, pp.226-236, 2008 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.1061/(asce)1084-0702(2008)13:3(226)
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.226-236


Condition-rating methods followed by load rating calculations are used for evaluating existing bridges in the United States. Ratings are assessed visually based on engineering expertise and experience, and in some cases supplemented by nondestructive tests. Good understanding of the effects of deterioration on the structural performance leads to better inspection procedures, planning, and cost-effective rehabilitation methods. This paper presents a bridge pier column strength evaluation method that can be adapted into a currently used bridge condition evaluation method. This method uses damaged material properties, and accounts for amount of corrosion and exposed bar length for each reinforcement, concrete loss, bond failure, and type of stresses in the corroding reinforcement. The proposed evaluation method provides a good estimate of the condition and load-carrying capacity of bridge piers that currently cannot be obtained by normal visual surveys. In addition, the proposed evaluation approach will help reduce repair costs, avoid overconservative condition ratings, and result in a more uniform level of safety of concrete bridge substructure in the United States.