Development of UHPC Prestressed Piles for Florida Bridges in extremely Aggressive Environments

  • Steven Nolan (Florida Department of Transportation)
  • Vickie Young (Florida Department of Transportation)
  • Ge Wan (Florida Department of Transportation)
  • Zachary Behring (Florida Department of Transportation)


This is an accepted article with a DOI pre-assigned that is not yet published.

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has used pretensioned concrete piles for bridge foundations since the early 1950’s. In the last decade structural advanced materials (SAM) have mature to provided designers options for more durable prestressed piles, especially in the splash-zone of marine environments, which are classified as the most extremely aggressive under FDOT guidelines. UHPC is the latest SAM to emerge as an equivalent or better alternative for existing standardized corrosion-resistant pretensioned piles. Current corrosion-resistant piling utilizing either Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) or High-Strength Stainless-Steel (HSSS) strands and spirals in High Performance Concrete (HPC). UHPC piles pretensioned with carbon-steel strands and spirals (UHPC-PS) are assumed to have similar durability and potentially greater cost advantages compared to current CFRP-HPC and HSSS-HPC pretensioned pile designs. This paper outlines some of the advantages of UHPC-PS pretensioned piles identified by FDOT and currently being verified through active research and engineering design. It is anticipated that UHPC-PS pretensioned pile designs will use bulk materials batched in centralized concrete plants, conventional prestressing materials, and exhibit greater axial and flexural resistance for FDOT standardized 18�x18�, 24�x24� and 30�x30� sized piles. This will enable equivalent foundation designs to utilize fewer piles while permitting greater allowable pile driving stresses, thus resulting in faster pile installation and more economical bridge foundations by 2024.

Keywords: piling, UHPC, prestressed concrete, bridge, foundations

Rights: © 2013 The Author(s). All rights reserved.

Peer Reviewed