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Validation of Polyester Concrete Rehabilitation Strategy to Extend the Life of Concrete Bridge Decks

Project #: 4W4557
Start Date: 07/01/2013
End Date: 06/30/2016
Status: Completed

Concrete box girder bridges with integral decks are the predominant bridge type in California. From a maintenance perspective, instead of delaying until an expensive deck replacement is required, Caltrans employs preservation and rehabilitation strategies, mainly in the form of High Molecular Weight Methacrylate (HMWM)-based crack sealing and polyester concrete overlaying (requiring only partial-removal of the existing deck concrete).  However, the efficacy of these two strategies as implemented by Caltrans has not been thoroughly investigated.  This research will specifically investigate the long term effectiveness of polyester concrete overlays by identifying the appropriate treatment time, and then comparing these results with the HMWM-based crack sealant study also conducted by the Western Transportation Institute (WTI).  A synthesis of the information from these two studies would then be used to help establish Caltrans’ best strategies for bridge deck overlay and crack repair using these two methods.  In addition, this research will also provide the Department a test method for rapidly evaluating new rehabilitation materials and strategies that may result in more cost-effective bridge deck maintenance and, therefore, longer lasting bridge structures.  The objectives of this research will be accomplished through a comprehensive program centered on large-scale laboratory tests on concrete bridge deck panels.


The objective of this research is to investigate the effectiveness of polyester concrete bridge deck overlays on simulated box girder bridge decks that have experienced various levels of deterioration.


  • Eli Cuelho
    Eli Cuelho
  • Jerry Stephens
    Jerry Stephens