Performance evaluation of innovative concrete bridge deck slabs reinforced with fibre-reinforced-polymer bars

Brahim Benmokrane*, Ehab El-Salakawy, Amr El-Ragaby, Sherif El-Gamal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the construction details, field testing, and analytical results of six innovative concrete bridges reinforced with fibre-reinforced-polymer (FRP) bars recently constructed in North America, namely Wotton, Magog, Cookshire-Eaton, Val-Alain, and Melbourne bridges in Quebec, Canada, and Morristown bridge in Vermont, USA. All six bridges are girder type, with main girders made of either steel or prestressed concrete. The main girders are supported over spans ranging from 26.2 to 50.0 m. The deck is a 200-230 mm thick concrete slab continuous over spans of 2.30-3.15 m. Different types of glass- and carbon-FRP reinforcing bars and conventional steel were used as reinforcement for the concrete deck slab. The six bridges are located on different highway categories, which means different traffic volume and environmental conditions. The bridges are well instrumented at critical locations for internal temperature and strain data collection using fibre optic sensors. These sensors are used to monitor the deck behaviour from the time of construction to several years after the completion of construction. The bridges were tested for service performance using calibrated truckloads. In parallel, a finite element analysis (FEA) was conducted and verified against the results of the field load tests. The FEA was then used to run parametric studies to investigate the effect of several important parameters such as FRP reinforcement type and ratio on the service and ultimate behaviour of these bridge decks. The analytical and field results under real service conditions, in terms of deflections, cracking, and strains in reinforcement and concrete, were comparable to those of concrete bridge deck slabs reinforced with steel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-310
Number of pages13
JournalCanadian Journal of Civil Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Bridges deck slabs
  • Fibre-reinforced-polymer (FRP) bars
  • Field testing
  • Finite element analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Science(all)


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