2002 Volume 42 Issue 12 Pages 1376-1385
The annual direct cost of bridge infrastructure corrosion to the U.S. economy is estimated at $8.3 billion, with indirect costs approximately 10 times higher. Of the approximately 600000 bridges in the U.S., between 15% and 20% are listed as “structurally deficient”, frequently due to corrosion damage. Five technologies are presented for reducing the cost of chloride-induced corrosion damage: (1) conductive coating anodes for cathodic protection of existing reinforce concrete bridges, (2) epoxy-coated rebar (ECR), (3) stainless steel rebar, and (4) high-performance concrete for extending the service life of new structures, and (5) metalizing to provide economical, long-term corrosion protection of steel bridges. Conductive coating anodes and stainless steel rebar represent ongoing work by the Oregon Department of Transportation with final verdicts not expected for years. The ECR and metalizing technology have longer track records and are better established in the bridge construction and protection industry. Application of these technologies is guided by a thorough understanding of their performance, of characteristics of the bridge and its environment, and of the results that are sought.