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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 the Installation and Initial Condition of Rosphalt Overlays on Bridge Decks
Michael M. Sprinkel
Year: 2013
VTRC No.: 13-R5

Protection systems are placed on bridge decks to retard the intrusion of chlorides and moisture that can eventually cause
corrosion deterioration. The Virginia Department of Transportation typically uses hydraulic cement concrete (HCC) overlays of
latex-modified concrete (LMC); LMC with very early hardening cement (LMC-VE); and silica fume concrete (SFC) and epoxy
overlays for deck protection. Occasionally, a conventional asphalt overlay and waterproof membrane system is used.

Rosphalt is an asphalt that is considered to be impermeable and has been used on decks without placement of a membrane.
The purpose of this research was to evaluate the construction, initial condition, and cost of the Rosphalt overlays placed on two
bridges in Virginia: (1) the northbound lanes of I-85 over Route 629 and the eastbound and westbound lanes of Span 22 of the
Norris Bridge on State Route 3 over the Rappahannock River. As a comparison to Rosphalt, a conventional asphalt overlay and
waterproof membrane system was placed on the adjacent bridge on the southbound lanes of I-85 over Route 629. Emphasis was
placed on comparing the wearing and protection systems with respect to speed and ease of construction (including lane closure
time), initial condition as indicated by physical properties, protection and skid resistance, and cost. An objective was also to
compare these asphalt protection systems to HCC overlays of LMC-VE, LMC, and SFC and epoxy overlays.

Costs varied greatly depending on the estimates used and the bid prices. Although estimates for the Norris Bridge indicated
Rosphalt as the lowest cost option, bid prices showed it was likely the most expensive option. Three overlay options, Rosphalt,
SM-9.5 mixture and membrane, and LMC-VE, are rapid and can provide major reductions in traffic control and user costs. Based
on laboratory tests, Rosphalt is more fatigue and rut resistant than the SM-9.5 mixture and should last longer, but based on the
cost of the first two installations in Virginia, Rosphalt is too expensive to be considered as a competitive overlay system.