Kentucky's bridges continue to age and experience distress. The intrusion of chlorides into concrete remains the primary mechanism for deterioration. It leads to reinforcing steel corrosion that damages the adjoining concrete structure. This study found problematic chloride concentrations in Kentucky concrete bridge elements (decks, pier caps, abutments). Chloride levels have been found at concentrations sufficient to initiate reinforcing steel corrosion. In some cases, chloride concentrations were sufficient to cause accelerated corrosion and produce major section loss of reinforcing steel. Advanced stages of corrosion such as these typically require costly repairs and maintenance to extend the service life of bridges.

Field inspections and laboratory analyses conducted during this study verified the ongoing problem of concrete deterioration across bridges within Kentucky's transportation network.

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© 2015 University of Kentucky, Kentucky Transportation Center

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The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Center, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the United States Department of Transportation, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. The inclusion of manufacturer names or trade names is for identification purposes and should not be considered an endorsement.