||Linear Cracking and Chloride Penetration of Concrete Bridge Decks
Kevin K. McGhee
Associate Director for Pavements
Chloride ion-induced corrosion of reinforcing steel, resulting from exposure to marine environments or to deicing salt application, is recognized as a primary cause of premature deterioration in concrete bridge decks in the United States. The influence of cracks on corrosion service life of reinforced concrete is presently controversial. This study involves bridge decks on VA routes, primary US routes and Interstate bridges, and will seek to identify the frequency of linear cracks in Virginia bridge decks and determine the influence of linear cracks on chloride penetration. Considerations will include the width and depth of the cracks, their orientation and location with respect to structural members within the bridge, and the influence of structural design and construction material types on the occurrence and influence of cracks. The resulting information will be employed to relate cracking and chloride ion content to corrosion of reinforcement, which can be used in predicting overall service life of bridge decks subject to deicing or marine environments.