Hancock, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Transportation has partnered with BridgeGuard, a concrete bridge evaluation company, to analyze the effectiveness of epoxy injection into concrete bridge decks. The epoxy injection research program was initiated as an opportunity for the Michigan DOT to repair existing infrastructure in a cost effective manner. Initially, seven bridges in Michigan were identified for the program.
Michigan DOT contracted with BridgeGuard because of their ability to produce high accuracy defect maps displaying hidden delaminations and spalls in these concrete bridge decks without the need for lane closures. As part of the process, BridgeGuard scanned each of the seven bridges up to three times.
BridgeGuard’s first scan produced the defect map the Michigan DOT used during the epoxy injection phase. Based on the boundaries identified on the map, Michigan DOT drilled holes into each delamination and pumped epoxy until each defect was saturated.
The epoxy was allowed to set for 24 hours before BridgeGuard rescanned the bridge to ensure that all delaminations were properly filled and that no defects were missed. The final scan will take place a year after the injection to test the effectiveness of the epoxy over the course of annual freeze-thaw and temperature extremes.
“We are excited to be a partner with the Michigan Department of Transportation on this project,” said Jay Ruohonen, BridgeGuard Chief Operating Officer. “We have continued to advance the technology used to identify delaminations and cracks in concrete bridge decks and substructures. We develop and integrate these technologies to help keep our nation’s infrastructure safe.”
The goal of the epoxy injection program is to extend the life of the bridge deck without the need to initiate costly bridge deck replacement. It also will help slow the inevitable growth of the delaminated areas, helping the Michigan DOT address other bridge issues in a cost effective manner.