Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Devin K Harris


As transportation infrastructure across the globe approaches the end of its service life, new innovative materials and applications are needed to sustainably repair and prevent damage to these structures. Bridge structures in the United States in particular are at risk as a large percentage will be reaching their design service lives in the coming decades. Superstructure deterioration occurs due to a variety of factors, but a major contributor comes in the form of deteriorating concrete bridge decks. Within a concrete bridge deck system, deterioration mechanisms can include spalling, delaminations, scaling from unsuitable material selection, freeze-thaw damage, and corrosion of reinforcing steel due to infiltration of chloride ions and moisture.

This thesis presents findings pertaining to the feasibility of using UHPC as a thin-bonded overlay on concrete bridge decks, specifically in precast bridge deck applications where construction duration and traffic interruption can be minimized, as well as in cast-in-place field applications. UHPC has several properties that make it a desirable material for this application. These properties include post-cracking tensile capacity, high compressive strength, high resistance to environmental and chemical attack, negligible permeability, negligible dry shrinkage when thermally cured, and the ability to self consolidate. The compatibility of this bridge deck overlay system was determined to minimize overlay thickness and dead load without sacrificing bond integrity or lose of protective capabilities. A parametric analysis was conducted using a 3D finite element model of a simply supported bridge under HS-20 truck and overload. Experimental tests were conducted to determine the net effect of UHPC volume change due to restrained shrinkage and tensile creep relaxation. The combined effects from numerical models and test results were then considered in determining the optimum overlay thickness for cast-in-place and precast applications.