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The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Evaluation of Virginia's First Heated Bridge
Edward J. Hoppe
Edward J. Hoppe
Year: 2000
VTRC No.: 01-R8
Abstract: This study is a contribution to the Heated Bridge Technology Program established in 1991 under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act. The goal of the program was to find durable and environmentally friendly heated bridge technologies for ice and snow removal. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the first heated bridge built in Virginia. The bridge is on Route 60 over the Buffalo River in Amherst County. The project was monitored from its construction in 1995 through winter operations terminating in spring 2000. Data were collected remotely using an electronic datalogger interfaced with various temperature and environmental sensors. In addition, an infrared camera was used to examine heat distribution across the bridge deck. The results of the study demonstrated that heat pipe technology could provide a feasible option for heating decks. However, substantial problems were encountered in getting the system to perform as designed. It appears that the control aspect of this technology requires additional improvements to ensure reliable operation under field conditions.