Many of Canada’s bridges require upgrading because they were not built to
handle the weight of today’s increased traffic loads. Calgary’s Crowchild Bridge is
one such case. The 90-m long, 11-m wide, new bridge carries two lanes of traffic
over its three continuous spans. While the deck slab itself is free of reinforcing, it
is supported by five steel girders and external steel straps. GFRP C-bars were
used to provide the continuity and to minimize the transverse cracks of the steelfree
deck over the intermediate bridge piers.
Based on the results of a full-scale model test at the University of Manitoba,
GFRP C-bars were also used to reinforce the cantilever slabs of the bridge. On a
tendered basis, it proved to be the least costly option.
The deck has cantilevers on either side, reinforced with GFRP rods. In order to
reduce surface cracks, the bridge deck concrete contains short random
polypropylene fibres. The completed bridge is stronger, more resistant to
corrosion, and less expensive to maintain than if it had been constructed using
traditional methods and materials.
The bridge is also outfitted with remote monitoring technology: 81 strain gauges,
19 embedded gauges, five thermisters, three smart glass rebars and two fibreoptic
© “Reinforcing Concrete Structures with Fiber Reinforced Polymers” by ISIS Canada