About the research
Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) is now widely considered by various transportation agencies to reduce traffic disruption, social cost, environmental impact, and lost time. ABC is also known to improve work zone safety, on-site constructability, and project completion time. One of the unique aspects of ABC is to exploit advanced construction materials to deliver high-quality prefabricated bridge elements and systems (PBES). Among such materials is ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC), which has received a growing attention for bridge applications, especially where superior strength and durability are critical. Although the high strength and durability of UHPC permits the production of thinner/lighter elements with a longer service life and less maintenance needs, use of UHPC in many of bridge projects is found cost prohibitive because commercially available/proprietary mixes can cost up to 20 times of conventional concrete mixes. To address this barrier, the main objective of the proposed research project is to develop and characterize economic, non-proprietary UHPC mixes made with the materials locally available. This will be achieved through a holistic set of laboratory experiments that will be primarily focused on the choice of fibers, which are known as the costliest ingredient of UHPC mixes.