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ICRI 2002 Project Award Winner
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Award of Excellence: Transportation Category

Interstate 80 Seismic Upgrade
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Salt Lake City, Utah

Submitted by Sika Corporation

Interstate 80

Utah DOT
Salt Lake City, Utah

Project Engineer/Designer
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah

Repair Contractor
Gerber Cosntruction
Lehi, Utah

Material Suppliers
Sika Corporation
Lyndhurst, New Jersey

QC Inspector
Richards Consulting
Salt Lake City, Utah

In the spring of 2000, the Utah DOT began a massive program to repair and upgrade a number of bridges in Salt Lake City, built during the 1960's. The program also included the seismic upgrade of five bridges using carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CRFP). One of the objectives was to have all construction completed well in advance of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. All traffic lanes needed to be kept open during construction, even with the additional volume from the events leading up to the Olympics. This goal was achieved as construction was completed in June 2001, months ahead of the Opening Ceremonies.

The heart of the project was to strengthen bridge structures that were in danger of collapsing in the event of a large earthquake. The Wasatch Fault, which runs along the east bench of the valley, is of great concern to geologists and engineers as the trigger point for inevitable and deadly seismic events. The violent shaking during an earthquake could collapse a number of these older and under-designed bridge structures along I-80.

Engineers at the local university were presented with the unique opportunity to conduct full-scale, in-situ tests of the fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) system on similar bridge bents that were scheduled for demolition during new freeway construction in another part of the city. This testing confirmed their design calculations that upgrading these critical bridge locations on I-80 with the FRP system would make them more resistant to the damaging effects of a large-scale earthquake.

A considerable amount of concrete repair was required on many of these 25+ year-old columns prior to the installation of the FRP. Once all of the corrosion-induced concrete damage was repaired, the installation of the FRP was able to move forward. Following the curing and testing of the FRP, it was coated with a textured coating for UV resistance and abrasion protection. Large amounts of testing were conducted on the FRP during the installation to verify strengths, stiffness, fiber volume, resin/fiber ratio, thickness and Tg. Also, long-term testing is being conducted and remotely monitored by engineers at the university to investigate the performance and environmental impacts of the FRP.

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