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Issue No. 11

September/October 2000


High Performance
Concrete The Florida
Douglas L. Edwards, Federal Highway Administration
Lightweight Aggregate
sion was detected in the substructures of several rela-
Concrete in Norwegian
Bridges T he era of high performance concrete (HPC) in
Florida bridges actually began following a vio-
lent storm in Tampa Bay in 1980. A freighter crashed
tively new bridges in the Florida Keys. These bridges
were built with conventional concrete and epoxy-
The resund Link into one of the main piers of the Sunshine Skyway coated reinforcement. This created an urgent need
Concrete Strategy Bridge, causing collapse of a truss span and the deaths for an alternative means of corrosion protection. A
20 Years of HPC Bridges of 35 people. The replacement bridge, opened in wide range of HPC mixtures was produced and test-
in France 1987 and built in the corrosive waters of Tampa Bay, ed to establish optimum mix designs for durability.
required more than 221,000 cu yd (169,000 cu m) of This effort led to progressive refinements in the
concrete. This project marked a turning point with FDOT concrete construction specifications, corro-
respect to the use of high-quality concrete by the sion classification parameters, and corrosion protec-
Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). tion design procedures and requirements.
During the 1970s, the FDOT became increasing- Since 1985, all proposed FDOT bridge sites have
SPONSORED BY ly aware of structural concrete deterioration, espe- been required to have soil and/or water testing per-
cially along Floridas 1200 miles (1930 km) of coast- formed. One of three corrosion environments is then
line and intra-coastal waterways. In response, FDOT assigned to each bridge component. These environ-
undertook to define areas with environments of sim- mental classifications then establish steel reinforce-
U.S. Department of Transportation ilar corrosive aggressiveness within the State. In ment cover, and in conjunction with strength
Federal Highway Administration 1981, this effort resulted in the publication of requirements, the FDOT concrete class to be used.
Corrosion Maps showing three levels of environ- Moderate and extremely aggressive environments
mental aggressiveness based upon criteria for pH currently require the use of fly ash or ground granu-
value, resistivity, sulfate concentration, and chloride lated blast furnace slag with specified minimum con-
concentration. crete compressive strengths ranging from 5500 psi
Much concrete research was conducted by the (38 MPa) to 8500 psi (59 MPa). Type II cement is
FDOT during the 1970s. This research indicated that specified for extremely aggressive environments.
INSTITUTE the addition of fly ash benefited a concrete structure When this classification is due to chlorides in the

in three ways: water, calcium nitrite and silica fume are specified for
Improved corrosion protection specific structural elements. When silica fume is
Improved sulfate resistance specified, the rapid chloride permeability is limited to
Reduced heat of hydration a maximum value of 1000 coulombs. The FDOT cor-
ASSOCIATION When the new Skyway Bridge was being planned, rosion specialists predict that these mixes will pro-
an expert board of concrete technology consultants vide a minimum design life of 75 years in Floridas
was assembled to study the concrete durability prob- severe marine environments.
CONCRETE lems in Tampa Bay. This group advised the State that To date, the FDOT has focused its research on the
STEEL INSTITUTE all concrete used in the structure should contain fly durability aspects of HPC since this has a far greater
ash. When the new bridge construction began in economic impact on their program than increased
SLATE INSTITUTE 1982, fly ash was officially required. This initiated an strength. Research is providing a better understand-
intensive effort in Florida to incorporate fly ash in ing of the effects of cold joints and cracks on rein-
POST-TENSIONING structural concrete. forcement corrosion. As greater knowledge is gained
Following the Skyway project, FDOT began in the fields of concrete materials and admixtures,
development of a standard concrete specification to corrosion monitoring, and alternative corrosion
incorporate many of the durability features utilized protection methods, it is expected that Floridas
REINFORCEMENT SILICA FUME on this unique structure. During this period, corro- HPC criteria will continue to evolve.
Steinar Helland, Selmer AS - Skanska AB, Oslo, Norway

A main characteristic of Norway is its

long coastline. During the last cen-
tury, a vast number of marine concrete struc-
tures have been built to facilitate communi-
cations and transportation. Since the 1970s,
the discovery of large oil and gas fields off
the Norwegian coast created the need for a
number of gravity based as well as floating
concrete production platforms.
Like the rest of the world in the late
1970s, Norway faced the problem of chlo-
ride-induced corrosion in our marine infra-
structure. A program was, therefore, started
to improve concrete quality and to develop
models enabling us to assess the performance
of these structures. This development result- HPC lightweight aggregate concrete was used to reduce the weight of the main span on the Stolma Bridge
ed in the introduction of high strength, high
performance concrete (HSC/HPC). Conse-
quently, we were able to include concrete Two of the bridges represent the revitali- construction project. The results have given
with characteristic cube strengths up to sation of an old conceptthe pontoon us the confidence that LWAC will with-
15,000 psi (105 MPa) in our design code in bridge. Bergsysundet (1992) with its 3000 stand the design life of more than 100 years
1989. In the same year, the Norwegian ft (914 m) length, and Nordhordland (1993) with comfortable margins.(3)
Roads Administration introduced a require- with its 4088 ft (1246-m) length used Ten years ago, the Roads Administration
ment for a water-binder ratio of less than LWAC of LC-55 (8000 psi or 55 MPa) in a was sceptical about the use of high strength
0.40 combined with the use of silica fume on total of 17 pontoons.(2) Again, dead load was LWAC without any proven field perfor-
all their infrastructure projects. important for the buoyancy, but equally mance. Today, their attitude has changed
Lightweight Aggregate important was the need to reduce the draft and they regard this technology as mature
Concrete In Bridges of the pontoons. Environmental considera- and a natural choice in the repertoire of
To help bridge designers in their efforts to tions strictly limited the impact to the tidal materials needed to optimize bridge design.(4)
create optimum structures, the Norwegian water in the fjords.
concrete industry, in the mid 1980s, started Codes and Regulations
to combine the technology of HSC/HPC LWAC Qualities All the structures have been designed
with that of lightweight aggregate concrete The structures are designed with con- according to the Norwegian Standard NS
(LWAC). The first pilot project, constructed crete characteristic cube strengths of 8000 3473. This has been updated both for HSC
in 1987, was a 49-ft (15-m) long pedestrian and 8700 psi (55 and 69 MPa) and densities and LWAC several times during the 1990s.
bridge built with LC-60a lightweight con- in the range of 119 to 122 lb/cu ft (1900 to However, standards covering the materials
crete with a cube compressive strength of 1950 kg/cu m). Aggregates are made from and construction aspects of LWAC were not
8700 psi (60 MPa). Later, ten major bridges expanded clay or shale. The specified water- updated. The projects have, therefore, been
were built with this material in Norway. binder ratio requirements have been less constructed according to special project
These comprised free cantilever, cable than 0.40, while actual ratios have been as specifications.
stayed, and pontoon bridges. The spans of low as 0.33. Silica fume has been used in all The situation is changing with the new
the two latest free cantilever bridges structures. In contrast to the North set of joint European concrete standards.(5)
Raftsundet at 978 ft (298-m) and Stolma at American tradition, dry lightweight aggre- The parts on materials and construction
988 ft (301-m)represent world records.(1) gate has generally been used. have now been revised. The LWAC provi-
The motivation for using LWAC for free sions are the fruits of major research projects
cantilevers has been twofold. Firstly, the Field Performance in Europe(6) and represent state-of-the-art
effect of reduced dead load is obvious. During the last 15 years, extensive technology.
Secondly, the construction method requires research has been carried out in Norway to
a balanced load on both sides of the pylon verify the LWACs performance in a marine Economy
during construction. This limits the choice environment. This research includes the LWAC has a higher unit price as deliv-
of span lengths and the possibility of placing development of a service life model and lab- ered from the batching plant. Savings in
pylons according to the topography. oratory and field-exposed test specimens. concrete and reinforcement quantities must
However, by being able to adjust the mater- Typically, a number of test elements have compensate for this. However, reduced
ial density of the cantilevers, the designer been cast at the bridge sites and exposed in foundation costs, increased buoyancy, or the
achieves greater freedom. the tidal and splash zones as a part of the opportunity to apply different design con-
HPC Bridge Views 2 Issue No. 11, September/October 2000
cepts dominate the economy. All the LWAC concretes leading position in this market the Pontoons of the Nordhordland
structures have undergone an economical would have been questionable. Bridge, Norway
analysis to justify the choice of material. A 3. Helland, S., Service Life Modelling
number of these analyses are described in References of Marine LWAC Structures
Reference 7. In June 2000, the Second 4. Melby, K., Use of High Strength
International Symposium on Structural LWAC in Norwegian Bridges
Conclusion LWAC was held in Kristiansand, Norway. 5. Helland, S., LWAC in the New
To maintain the use of concrete in bridge Ninety-six papers from more than 30 European Standards on Materials and
construction, the range of material combi- countries were presented. The proceed- Execution
nations had to be broadened in the 1970s ings are available from the Norwegian 6. Mijnsbergen, J. et al., EuroLightCon
and 1980s. The introduction of higher Concrete Association, A Major European Research Project
strengths and better performance in marine The following papers give more in-depth on LWAC
and de-icing salt environments was the first information on the subject of this article: 7. Fergestad, S. et al., The Economical
step. The second step was to give the design- 1. Rosseland, S. et al., The Stolma Potential of LWAC in 4 Different
er the possibility of combining these charac- BridgeWorld Record of Free Major Bridges
teristics with the freedom to specify density. Cantilevering
Without these quantum leaps in technology, 2. Jakobsen, S. E., The Use of LWAC in


Christian Munch-Petersen, Danish Technological Institute, Concrete Centre

A concrete strategy was adopted to ensure a 100-year service life

immersed tunnel and the cable-stayed Quality is defined by the require-

O ne of Scandinavias largest invest-
ments in infrastructurethe
Fixed Link across the resund Strait
bridge are the largest of their types in the
world carrying both road and rail traffic.
ments for concrete production
including concrete mix proportions
between Denmark and Sweden was (Materials) and requirements for
opened on July 1, 2000. The link includes The Concrete Strategy execution including curing
a two-track railway and a four-lane high- In 1994, the links ownerresunds- (Workmanship).
way. The crossing consists of an immersed konsortietappointed an expert concrete Quality is controlled by require-
tunnel 2.2 miles (3.5 km) long, an artifi- group including specialists from the ments for inspection, testing, and
cial island 2.5 miles (4.1 km) long, a Danish Technological Institute and the documentation as part of a quality
western approach bridge 1.3 miles (2.0 Swedish Lund Institute of Technology. system in accordance with EN ISO
km) long, a cable-stayed high bridge 0.7 The groups first task was the develop- 9001.
miles (1.1 km) long with a free span of ment of the following strategy: Requirements must be established
1608 ft (490 m), and an eastern approach Owner defines and controls con- by the owner and owners consul-
bridge 2.3 miles (3.7 km) long. The crete quality. tants based on well-known technol-
HPC Bridge Views 3 Issue No. 11, September/October 2000
ogy. The requirements must ensure Main Types of Concrete lated by the program were divided by the
a service life of 100 years with prop- The single crucial factor in the dura- axial tensile strength of the concrete to
er maintenance but without any bility design of a concrete structure is the give the cracking risk, P. The maximum
major repair work. Corrosion of concrete cover to the reinforcement. acceptable risk of cracking (P) was spec-
reinforcement is not permitted to The effectiveness of the cover depends ified as 0.7 for all water-retaining struc-
start within the 100-year service on its thickness and the concrete quality. tures and splash zones and 1.0 or 1.3 for
life. The concrete quality is primarily a func- structures where some cracking is
Strategy is enforced through the tion of the water-cement (w/c) ratio; acceptable.
preparation of a comprehensive therefore, durability design must include
concrete specification as part of the a minimum cover and a maximum w/c Frost Resistance
bid documents. ratio. The specified values for the mini- Guaranteed frost resistance was a
Ensure open competition between mum cover and the maximum w/c ratio must for the exposed structures. This was
contractors, without compromising depend on the required service life and achieved through the selection of a con-
quality. the aggressiveness of the environment, crete mix with an air-entrained system of
which again is somewhat dependent on high quality and stability. Through com-
Specifications must leave as much
the detailed geometric design of the prehensive pre-testing of the concrete,
freedom as possible for the contrac-
structure and varies very much along the the necessary air contents were deter-
tors to choose concrete mix propor-
structures surface. mined for the fresh and hardened con-
tions, but thorough attention must
It is sensible to define only a few dif- cretes. The pre-testing included tests for
be given to the risk of failing to
ferent types of concrete with regard to salt-scaling and internal frost resistance.
obtain the defined quality.
w/c ratio. The thickness of the concrete In production, only salt-scaling tests
The concrete had to meet high perfor- cover can then be varied depending on were made.
mance requirements. However, the term required service life and aggressiveness of
high performance concrete (HPC) is the environment. Thus, the total num- The Result
not used in Denmark. Requirements can ber of concrete types is reduced. For Defining a concrete strategy and fol-
be high or low, but performance can only resund, only two types of concrete lowing it has been a great success. The
be yes or no. Therefore, per the were defined: contractors were left with the possibility
Danish definition, there is no such thing of deciding their own work procedure
Type A with a maximum w/c ratio
as HPC. Nevertheless, in reality, con- and concrete mixes while the quality was
of 0.40
crete for the link would be described as maintained because of the clear and
Type B with a maximum w/c ratio
HPC according to USA terminology. strict specification. However, some prob-
of 0.45
Both types of concrete existed in a lems arose where the contractor left out
frost-resistant and a non-frost-resistant the air entrainment in some mixes or
Well-Known Technology
version and both types can be used with where the air content was too low. In
Well-known technology is defined as
a cover of 2 or 3 in. (50 or 75 mm) these cases, the routine tests showed
technology that is well tried with posi-
depending on the environment. This way non-conformity of the mixes for frost
tive results under similar environmental
eight different environmental classes resistance. No cracks have been found in
conditions. Often, the owner would
were addressed with only two concrete the immersed tunnel. Some early-age
rather use well-known technology with
types. For all eight classes, the possibility cracks have been found in some of the
the above definition than try a new (and
of a 100-year service life was feasible. structural elements. In all cases, the
maybe unsafe) technology in order to try
cracks were due to mistakes in the con-
to cut costs. When preparing the specifi-
Early-Age Crack Control tractors planning and execution. These
cation, questions about this principle
Temperature differences and autoge- were documented by calculation using
arose. Which technologies are well-
neous shrinkage can cause early-age actual construction data. Stress and
known and by whom? If the common
cracking in the first few days of a struc- strain analysis of the early-age cracking,
and well-known technologies are
tures life. The requirements for early-age therefore, gave a true picture of the
regarded (and maybe proved by experi-
crack control are of great importance to cracking risk.
ence) as unsafe by experts, it may be sen-
sible to use a new andaccording to the service life of a structure. Therefore,
expertssafe technology. This is called the resund requirements stated that
an innovation. the contractor had to calculate a crack-
The main innovations in the specifi- ing risk (P).
cations were the use of: The calculation of P was performed
using a finite element method. The input
European constituent material
data were the variation of the properties
of the hardened concrete with time and
Defined conformity procedures other data necessary to describe the con-
Stress calculations for early-age tractors planned execution, such as type
cracking of formwork, concrete temperature at
Service life calculations including placement, internal cooling system, and
workmanship external insulation. The stresses calcu-
HPC Bridge Views 4 Issue No. 11, September/October 2000
Didier Brazillier, BHP 2000 Project*

T he first use of the term high per-

formance concrete (HPC) in
France goes back to 1983 and the build-
ing of a bridge at Melun under the impe-
tus of LCPC and SETRA (Research
Agency and Bridge Department of the
French Highways Administration,
respectively). This is not only of histori-
cal interest but is also highly significant
in terms of the logic underlying the
application of these types of concretes in
France. Firstly, HPC relates to bridges
rather than buildings. In France, there
are few high-rise buildings and very little
competition with steel construction in
this sector. Secondly, bridge ownership
or sponsorship, particularly in the highly
developed public engineering practice,
has played a leading role. This includes
the initiation and support of a large-scale
research and development program on
HPC, gathering together a large number
of players in the civil engineering sector
to form BHP 2000, and the preparation HPC was used on the Normandy Bridge to reduce member sizes
of an official design code for concretes approach are the following: of HPC. Bridges based on this approach
with characteristic strengths up to The cable-stayed bridges of include the Ile de R bridge, which is 1.9
11,600 psi (80 MPa). Finally, HPCs Normandy, Le Pertuizet, LElorn, miles (3.0 km) long, includes 44,000 cu
improved properties of durability and and recently Beaucaire-Tarascon, yd (34,000 cu m) of concrete, and was
rheology have always been exploited with a 656-ft (200-m) central span completed in 12 months. Le Corbusier
hand-in-hand with the mechanical prop- constructed with a ribbed slab 31 in. viaduct in Lille and the bowstring bridge
erties. Hence the name high perfor- (800 mm) thick over the canal from the Marne to the
mance concrete as opposed to high Rhine rivers in Strasbourg are composite
The cantilevered viaducts on the
strength concrete. structures where HPC was used in pre-
Southeast TGV line in Avignon
Since 1983, over one hundred bridges fabricated concrete slabs.
and on the Lyon ring boulevard
have been built with HPC. They may be
with a slenderness ratio of 25:1
characterized by three approaches that
correspond to the reasons for selecting The arched bridges over the Rance Maintenance Approach
HPC. and the Crozet Rivers near The maintenance approach involves
Grenoble with an opening of 459 ft improved properties resulting from the
Structural Approach (140 m) for the main arch, which is highly closed microstructure of HPC
The structural approach is based on made up of two ribs 47 in. (1.20 m) leading to a lack of carbonation, slower
enhanced mechanical properties. This wide with an average depth of 78 in. diffusion of chlorides, and lower porosity.
leads to a reduction in materials and (2.0 m) The maintenance approach is supported
more slender structures. A parametric The pylons of the Chavanon sus- by the ongoing development of predic-
study performed by BHP 2000 has iden- pension bridge with a 984-ft (300- tive computational models based on the
tified that span lengths could be m) span actual characteristics of the materials
increased by about 10 percent for equiv- and the environment surrounding the
alent design loads with the use of con- Construction Method structure. Consequently, a contractual
cretes with characteristic strengths of Approach objective for a minimum service life is
11,600 psi (80 MPa) instead of 5800 psi The construction method approach is now possible using design rules and a
(40 MPa). And so, new architectural used to optimize construction cycles. material formulation model. French
concepts can become reality. This may involve high strength concrete engineering firms were able to construct
Among bridges that have been con- at early ages to ensure rapid reuse of the Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon
structed and serve to illustrate this formwork and/or earlier prestressing. with this performance and durability
_________________________________ Placement of concrete in congested approach. The maintenance approach is
*BHP 2000 Project is a national program to areas is also made easier by the rheology of particular interest for small bridges,
advance the use of HPC

HPC Bridge Views 5 Issue No. 11, September/October 2000

which are, by far, the most common and for which the potential Malier, Y. and De Larrard, F., French Bridges in High-
benefits of reduced maintenance are greater. Performance Concrete, Utilization of High-Strength Concrete,
Following construction of the experimental bridge at Joigny, Symposium Proceedings, Lillehammer, Norway, June 1993.
the French Ministry of Development initiated the design of a De Larrard, F., High-Performance Concrete: From the
range of standard bridges with the objective of improved dura- Laboratory to Practical Utilization, CONTECH 94, RILEM
bility. The first series has been constructed at Bourges, Seminar on Technology Transfer, Barcelona, November 1994.
Angoulme, Sens, and Montpellier.
Brazillier, D., Bar, P., Millan, A. L., De Larrard F., and Roi S.,
These bridges have a simple design consisting of a principal
Innovative Design of Small Highway Bridges in HPC, Fourth
rib and very thin transversely ribbed cantilevers either prefabri-
International Symposium on the Utilization of High-
cated or cast-in-place. They make it possible to illustrate the
Strength/High-Performance Concrete, Symposium Proceedings,
three approaches described above:
Paris, France, May 1996, pp. 1447-1456.
Structurala 40 percent decrease in concrete volume,
resulting in a very thin bridge deck and lighter foundations Toutlemonde, F., Brazillier, D., and De Larrard, F., Recent
Advances in France in High Performance Concrete
Construction Methoda gain of one week on a conven-
Technology, SEWC 98, Structural Engineers World Congress,
tional construction cycle for the roadway
San Francisco, 1998, Paper T 185-3.
Maintenancebetter protection of the reinforcement from
corrosion; thereby, generating substantial savings in main- Malier, Y., Brazillier, D., and Roi, S., The Bridge of Joigny,
tenance and extending the service life Concrete International, American Concrete Institute, Detroit,
MI, May 1991, pp. 40-42.
At present, the use of a wide range of HPCs is becoming more
accepted. For example, the future bridge over the Rhine at Brazillier, D., Roi, S., Hagole, D., and Ferte J. C., New
Strasbourg is a prestressed concrete box girder with a central Developments in Standard Bridge using HPC, New
span of 673 ft (205 m) using concrete with a characteristic Technologies In Structural Engineering, FIP, Lisbon, 1997, pp
strength of 10,000 psi (70 MPa). Also, the use of prefabricated 131-138.
components and high early-age strengths for cast-in-place con- The French Technology of Concrete, XIIIth Symposium, FIP,
crete or prefabricated components is increasing. Amsterdam, May 1988.
Considerable spin-offs have also been observed on all types of
conventional concrete while the way has now been opened for
the construction of the first experimental bridge with a 21,700
psi (150 MPa) fibrous concrete deck in Valence to be completed
at the end of 2000.

Further Information
The following publications contain further information about
High Performance Concrete in France:
Malier, Y. et al., High Performance Concrete - From Material to
Structure, Van Nostrand Reinhold Inc, New York, 1992.

HPC Bridge Views is published jointly by the Federal Highway Administration and the National Concrete Bridge Council.
Previous issues can be viewed and downloaded at
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Road, Skokie, IL 60077-1083; 847-966-6200; (fax) 847-966-9781; email:
Reproduction and distribution of this newsletter is encouraged provided that FHWA and NCBC are acknowledged. Your
opinions and contributions are welcome. Please contact the Editor, Henry G. Russell, at 847-998-9137; (fax) 847-998-0292;
For further information on High Performance Concrete, contact:
FHWA Headquarters: Terry D. Halkyard, 202-366-6765; (fax) 202-366-3077; e-mail:
AASHTO Lead States Team: Mary Lou Ralls, TXDOT, 512-416-2183; (fax) 512-416-3144; e-mail:
NCBC: Basile G. Rabbat, PCA, 847-966-6200; (fax) 847-966-9781; e-mail:
Editorial Committee:
Henry G. Russell, Editor, John S. Dick, PCI Shri Bhide, PCA Mary Lou Ralls, TXDOT Terry D. Halkyard, FHWA

HPC Bridge Views 6 Issue No. 11, September/October 20000