Analysis of concrete removal technologies in bridge rehabilitation

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Virginia Tech


As construction of the nation’s interstate highway system nears completion, the emphasis must now be focussed on the rehabilitation of many of the older sections of the system which have undergone damage or deterioration. The efficiency and effectiveness of the concrete removal operation will profoundly affect the outcome of the bridge rehabilitation. Pneumatic breakers, milling machines, and hydro-demolition are three concrete removal technologies utilized to remove concrete that has experienced various levels of damage or deterioration.

A general examination of the three technologies is presented in the following five areas: the equipment, the work, production, cost, and quality. The information was primarily obtained through interviews and discussions with persons involved in bridge rehabilitation: contractors, State Highway Agency personnel, and equipment manufacturers and distributors. It is anticipated that the information presented will enable persons involved in the bridge rehabilitation industry to more effectively utilize the technologies discussed.