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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-17-096     Date:  October 2017
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-17-096
Date: October 2017


Field Testing of an Ultra-High Performance Concrete Overlay

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Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) is an advanced construction material that can positively influence the future of the highway infrastructure. Since 2001, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has been at the forefront of developing UHPC-based solutions for pressing challenges. One problem facing many bridge owners is the urgent need for effective and durable rehabilitation solutions for deteriorated highway bridge decks. An emerging solution to this problem is thin, bonded UHPC overlays which have durability and mechanical properties that exceed those of conventional overlay solutions. This report documents the first deployment of a UHPC overlay in the United States and the field testing used to validate its installation and initial performance. The information presented provides foundational knowledge to bridge owners and designer consultants interested in using this innovative solution for preserving our Nation’s highway bridges.

Cheryl Allen Richter, P.E., Ph.D.
Director, Office of Infrastructure
Research and Development


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement


Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No. 3 Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

Field Testing of an Ultra-High Performance Concrete Overlay

5. Report Date

October 2017

6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)

Zachary B. Haber, Jose F. Munoz, and Benjamin A. Graybeal

8. Performing Organization Report No.


9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Office of Infrastructure Research & Development
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of Infrastructure Research & Development
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Final Report: April 2016–May 2017

14. Sponsoring Agency Code


15. Supplementary Notes

The document content was prepared by Zachary Haber of Genex Systems, LLC, under laboratory support contract DTFH61-16-D-00033, and Jose F. Munoz of SES Group and Associates, LLC under laboratory support contract DTFH61-13-D-00007.

16. Abstract

Bridge decks are commonly rehabilitated using overlays depending on the cause of deck deterioration, available budget, and desired service life of the rehabilitated structure. One emerging solution for bridge deck rehabilitation is thin, bonded ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) overlays. As an overlay material, UHPC can provide both structural strengthening and protection from ingress of contaminates using a 1-in (25 mm) to 2-in (51 mm) layer of material. The first U.S. deployment of UHPC as a bridge deck overlay was completed in May 2016 on a reinforced concrete slab bridge located in Brandon. A few months after installing the UHPC overlay, a field inspection of the bridge identified some locations along the deck where delamination may have occurred. To address this concern, a field study was conducted in November 2016 to evaluate the bond between the UHPC overlay and the substrate concrete bridge deck. Researchers from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) synthesized photographic evidence, conducted a field inspection of the bridge deck surface using a chain drag, and conducted physical testing of the UHPC-concrete interface bond using the direct tension bond pull-off test. Tested samples were taken back to TFHRC and the UHPC-concrete interface subsequently analyzed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The pull-off test data indicated that the UHPC overlay and the existing concrete bridge deck was intact, which was confirmed by SEM analysis.

17. Key Words

Ultra-high performance concrete, overlay, delamination, bond, scarification, hydrodemolition

18. Distribution Statement

No Restrictions. This document is available through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.

19. Security Classification
(of this report)


20. Security Classification
(of this page)


21. No. of Pages


22. Price


Form DOT F 1700.7 Reproduction of completed page authorized




Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101