Montana Department of Transportation

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Research

Evaluation of Thin Polymer Overlays for Bridge Decks

Bridge Desk Overlays image

Thin composite polymer overlays are a cost-effective method for extending the service life and serviceability of concrete bridge decks by filling concrete cracks and increasing skid resistance. The overlay is a thin (1/4 to 1/2 inch) layer of polymer that seals existing cracks and is embedded with aggregate for wear and skid resistance. The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) has recently observed varying performance of two different polymer overlay systems applied to four different bridge decks across the state. This research proposes to assess the performance of thin polymer overlays on concrete bridge decks in Montana. The project includes a literature review, a review of the polymer systems on MDT’s qualified product list and recent skid resistance data for two of these materials. The project also includes the implementation of an expanded and focused field investigation to measure skid resistance and durability of selected polymer systems. The anticipated product of this research will be an updated process for selecting and utilizing thin polymer overlays to increase the service life of bridge decks in Montana.

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