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FHWA Home / OIPD / Accelerating Innovation / Every Day Counts / EDC News: August 31, 2023

EDC News

August 31, 2023

Innovation of the Month: Enhancing Performance with Internally Cured Concrete (EPIC2)

Enhancing Performance with Internally Cured Concrete (EPIC2) promotes using internal curing to reduce shrinkage cracking in concrete. As discussed in our last issue, this form of early-age cracking in bridge decks makes the deck and the supporting structural elements susceptible to moisture and chlorides, which can lead to reduced deck and bridge service life. The search for ways to eliminate or reduce cracking has been a priority for DOTs for a number of years, and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), among others, have experimented with internally cured concrete (ICC) as a potential remedy.

In 2017, ODOT evaluated internal curing in State highway applications on a project featuring a pair of twin bridges in Mayfield Heights, OH. One was cast using traditional mixture designs as a control deck, while the other was cast using ICC. The bridges were surveyed 2 weeks after deck placement, where no cracks were detected in either bridge, and then again after 1 year. At that time, many cracks of varying widths were observed in the conventional concrete deck which could provide a pathway for chlorides and water to penetrate the deck and reach the reinforcement. In contrast, the ICC deck showed considerably less cracking. Additionally, ODOT observed that surface grooves of the deck were in much better condition. The ICC bridge deck outperformed the conventional concrete deck in all areas observed by the inspection team.

Illustration of two bridge decks to compare cracking patterns observed after 1 year of service life.The internally cured concrete bridge deck showed significantly less cracking after 1 year of service. (FHWA Illustration, Data Credit: ODOT)
Illustration of two bridge decks to compare cracking patterns observed after 1 year of service life. At top, southbound bridge identified as conventional concrete deck, with numerous cracks (in excess of 50). At bottom, northbound bridge identified as internally cured concrete deck, with only 2 very small cracks.

ODOT calculated the service lives of both bridge decks using a service life prediction model and the results indicate using ICC significantly increased the service life—from about 25 years to about 70 years. The analysis further demonstrated the ICC bridge deck’s total lifecycle cost would be nearly 30 percent less than the conventional concrete. Further annual inspections showed no signs of distress or cracking for the ICC deck, while the conventional concrete showed additional cracking.

Based in part on the success of this project’s results, ODOT undertook additional ICC projects and the State recognizes that the technology can save money through durability and longevity (enhancements) in pavements and bridge decks to meet 100-year design-life goals. For EDC-7, Ohio has set a goal for full institutionalization with eventual implementation of the technology on all DOT projects.

To learn more about how your agency can benefit from or implement ICC, visit the enhancing performance with internally cured concrete (EPIC2) team’s webpage. Subscribe to EPIC2 email updates to stay informed, or contact Tim Barrett, FHWA Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, or Mike Praul, FHWA Office of Infrastructure, with any questions.

Learn More About EPDs Through New Video Resources

As State DOTs become more conscious of infrastructure’s environmental burdens and seek more sustainable strategies, environmental product declarations (EPDs) have become a tool to help address the environmental impacts of construction materials.

In May, EDC News highlighted EPD efforts in Colorado and California, two States leading the way with these tools. Watch short videos on the benefits of EPDs, the importance of addressing embodied carbon during construction and how reporting tools encourage sustainable procurement, design, and asset management.

If you would like to know more about EPDs, please contact LaToya Johnson or Migdalia Carrion, FHWA Office of Infrastructure. To stay up-to-date on the latest from this innovation team, subscribe to the EPD e-newsletter.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces $8.8 Million in Grants to Accelerate Innovation in Highway Projects

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced $8.8 million in grants for 10 projects in eight States and the District of Columbia to encourage the use of tools that can improve safety on bridges and in work zones. The grants, which can also be used for other innovative transportation technologies such as ultra-high-performance concrete to digital mapping programs, are provided by FHWA’s Accelerated Innovation Deployment (AID) Demonstration program and complement President Biden’s Investing in America agenda that is rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure and creating a manufacturing and innovation boom.

Discover Home-Grown Innovations from Around the Country

Logo-Premium Quality Home Grown State & Local Innovations

Are you interested in homegrown innovations being used by your peers in other parts of the country? Check out the National STIC Network Showcase, a component of the EDC-7 Virtual Summit. Registering for the event allows you to access all the content through February 2024. The Showcase features several innovations in the area of Civil Rights.

Learn about the Florida Department of Transportation's (FDOT's) Internally Cured Concrete (ICC) efforts, which compared the material to standard high-strength concrete. The results showed several benefits for ICC and the research resulted in FDOT developing and implementing standard specifications allowing ICC use for bridge decks and rigid pavements.

Celebrate the ingenuity of your peers and read about these innovations—developed and deployed in-house at transportation agencies nationwide. Additionally, we invite you to watch the one-hour presentations on-demand that feature many of these and other innovations.

Stay Up to Date on the EDC Innovations That Interest You Most

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EDC teams are always on the move! If you blink, you could miss out on important webinars, case studies, tools, videos, and more. To never miss information for the EDC innovations that interest you most, visit the subscription page and select the topics you’d like to receive updates on directly from the teams that coordinate them.

Recent bulletins:

Sustainable Pavements 8/21/23
Strategic Workforce Development 8/17/23

About EDC

Every Day Counts, a state-based initiative of the Federal Highway Administration's Center for Accelerating Innovation, works with state, local and private sector partners to encourage the adoption of proven technologies and innovations to shorten and enhance project delivery.

EDC News is published weekly by the FHWA Center for Accelerating Innovation.

Notice: The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names appear in this presentation only because they are considered essential to the objective of the presentation. They are included for informational purposes only and are not intended to reflect a preference, approval, or endorsement of any one product or entity

Recommended Citation:
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration
EDC News; August 31, 2023
Washington, DC


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Jeffrey A. Zaharewicz
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Page last modified on August 31, 2023
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