Cheaper to Build, Faster to Construct: Novel Short and Medium Span UHPC Bridges

Authors: , , , ,


Broader adoption of ultra high performance concrete (UHPC) in the United States has been stymied by its initial cost, which is several times that of regular concrete. However, the material's unique properties offer great opportunities for innovation that can make the short-term cost lower than that achievable with current technology and certainly substantially cheaper in the long term due to the material's extreme durability. This paper highlights two novel bridge projects that leveraged the properties of UHPC to achieve savings in the initial project costs and rapid erection. The first employed a ribbed UHPC bridge deck composite with galvanized press brake tub girders creating a unique system with an expected lifetime of at least 100 years. The second employed an ultra-slim deck section representing a fully UHPC superstructure with extreme durability. Both bridges utilized an open-recipe UHPC that was mixed in a truck, cured in a precast concrete plant then transported to the bridge site. The paper will discuss UHPC mix details and highlight key bridge design features with an eye towards promoting adoption of UHPC and innovation in bridges with short to medium spans.

Keywords: bridges, deck, short span, long span, accelerated bridge construction

How to Cite: El-Tawil, S. , Nelson, G. , Hazelton, W. , Rogers, D. & Clark, M. (2023) “Cheaper to Build, Faster to Construct: Novel Short and Medium Span UHPC Bridges”, International Interactive Symposium on Ultra-High Performance Concrete. 3(1). doi: