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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > November 2000 > Highway Agencies and Industry Get a Helping Hand in Fighting Concrete Deterioration
November 2000Publication Number: FHWA-RD-00-063

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Highway Agencies and Industry Get a Helping Hand in Fighting Concrete Deterioration

Alkali-silica reactivity (ASR) is a pervasive problem that occurs in portland cement concrete (PCC), causing cracks, spalling, and other damage in pavements and structures. Repairing and replacing the deteriorated concrete is costly for highway agencies and inconvenient for highway and bridge users. To help State highway agencies, local agencies, contractors, material suppliers, and others better combat this problem, the American Concrete Institute (ACI), through a cooperative agreement with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), has developed a two-day workshop that will cover methods for identifying specific types of deterioration, as well as the latest technology for preventing or reducing deterioration damage.

The workshop draws on material presented in ASR and concrete durability workshops previously held as part of the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) technology implementation effort. However, it also incorporates new research and is aimed at reaching a wider audience than the SHRP workshops did.

FHWA and ACI designed the workshop with the goal of "providing information and resources to open the lines of communication and help all of the stakeholders involved in concrete highway construction avoid excessive cracking and other durability failures," says Jon Mullarky of FHWA.

Workshop topics will include:

  • The basics of ASR
  • Tools and indicators for identifying the cause of concrete deterioration
  • Field distress survey and sampling procedures for distressed concrete pavements
  • Methods for mitigation of ASR
  • Designing and specifying durable concrete
  • Laboratory testing, data analysis, and interpretation procedures
  • Regional/local case studies
  • Aggregate source evaluation and qualification

A pilot workshop was held in September 2000 in Baltimore, Maryland. FHWA and ACI are now refining the material and expect to launch the workshops this spring. The two-day workshop will be available to any State Department of Transportation that wants to host it, with ACI providing the instructors and course material. For more information on hosting a workshop, contact Jon Mullarky at 202-366-6606 (fax: 202-493-2070; email: or Peter Steiner at ACI, 248-848-3700 (fax: 248-848-3792; email:

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Updated: 02/20/2015

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