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PIARC (World Road Association), founded in 1909 and comprising 125 member governments from all over the world, is the global forum for exchange of knowledge and experience on roads, road transport policies and practices. With consultative status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, the Association is contributing to a stable and sustainable global development of the road and transport sector.

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New Rehabilitation Materials and Technologies for Road Bridges - Briefing Note

Every country around the world needs to manage and to rehabilitate his bridge stock. The latter may be old (for example about 60 years or more in Europe) or very young (about 10 years for example in new high-income countries). Therefore, the needs for rehabilitation of an aging bridge stock may be different from one country to the other.

Even if the aging of bridges is the main cause of rehabilitation, a bridge owner may also need to adapt existing bridges to increase it service level (number of lanes, load capacity,etc.).

Often bridges are unique items and therefore their rehabilitation/degradation are specific. Nevertheless, it is necessary and essential to exchange between bridge experts on good repair practices and especially on innovative techniques.

A Case Studies report has been published presenting 41 examples of rehabilitation/retrofitting methods.

Two main rehabilitation methods are observed within those examples :

  1. Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP)/Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) in 25 % of the case studies
  2. Ultra-High Performance Fiber-reinforced Concrete (UHPC) in 25 % of the case studies

Fiber reinforced polymer and ultra-high performance fiber-reinforced concrete are both new techniques which can be used for a broad range of application, but which are still not used widely by contractors.

The aim of this briefing notes is to highlight some specific topics for decision makers:

  • Encourage the use of new techniques like Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP)/Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) and Ultra High Performance Fiber-reinforced Concrete (UHPC).
  • Help local contractors to acquire the skills related to these technologies for example by initiating pilot experiments
  • Invite bridge engineers to be imaginative when selecting a bridge rehabilitation technology
  • Promote rehabilitation cases sharing between all stakeholders

Information sheet

  • Date: 2023
  • Author(s): Comité technique / Technical Committee / Comité Técnico 2020-2023 4.2 Ponts / Bridges / Puentes
  • Domain(s): Road Bridges
  • Type: Briefing Note
  • PIARC Ref.: 2023R11EN
  • ISBN: 978-2-84060-769-4
  • Number of pages: 13