yale street bridge

houston, Texas

Originally constructed in 1931, this cast-in-place reinforced concrete bridge showed signs of reinforcement corrosion, concrete spalling, and flexural cracking. Aguirre & Fields and Paradigm Consultants were hired to evaluate potential solutions and design a repair. We conceived and implemented the design of an FRP system to rehabilitate the bridge. Ground penetrating radar was used to locate the embedded steel in a portion of a concrete floor beam. Four concrete cores were extracted from the girders and floor beams. Six pull-off tensile strength tests were conducted on the concrete beams to determine its suitability for applying externally bonded FRP.

The original design was less than HS 3 (HS 20 is the current standard). According to TxDOT rules, the load rating required posting the bridge for no trucks. With the newly constructed Wal-Mart close-by and neighborhood concerns regarding truck traffic, this bridge became a high-profile project, garnering attention from the public works director, city council, and the state senator. In spite of public awareness, Aguirre & Fields kept the project on track and ahead of schedule.

Aguirre & Fields’ work allowed the City of Houston to program the replacement of the bridge while keeping the existing bridge open to traffic.