Award of Merit: Strengthening Category
Rehabilitation of the Pumarejo Bridge
Colombia, South America
Submitted by Sika Colombia
Instituto Nacional de Vias
Consorcio Camacho Gomez
The Pumarejo Bridge is the largest bridge in Colombia, South America. Constructed 35 years ago to allow development to the northern region and to link Barranquilla City with the eastern shore of the Magdalena River, it was considered one of the concrete marvels in the country in 2006 by the Colombian Ready Mixed Concrete Association.
Located at a distance of 12.4 miles (20 km) from the Caribbean Sea, the Pumarejo Bridge has withstood a harsh environment of marine breeze full of chlorides, which has deteriorated the concrete surface little by little. In addition, the strong stream of the Magdalena River (the largest in the country) has eroded the concrete surface of the columns placed in the water.
The damages comprised spalled concrete in longitudinal beams, cap beams, and columns due to the corrosion process inside the structure and a loss of coarse aggregates in the concrete of the columns placed in the water due to the stream of the river.
The rehabilitation procedure included the withdrawal of spalled concretes; the cleaning and protection of the steel rein-forcement bars; the addition of repair mortars; steel jacketing of columns; the addition of impregnation corrosion inhibitors; and the application of a protective coating over a surface of 538,196 square feet (50,000 square meters). The total investment was $3 million (U.S.).