The purpose of this research was to develop a new index for concrete bridge deck management in Utah. Data were collected in the summer of 2005 from 15 concrete bridge decks in the vicinity of Salt Lake City. The decks ranged from 2 to 21 years in age and were all constructed using epoxy-coated rebar. Visual inspection, sounding, Schmidt hammer testing, half-cell potential testing, and chloride concentration testing were performed on six 6-ft by 6-ft test areas randomly distributed within the single lane closed to traffic on each deck, and testing protocols followed American Society for Testing and Materials standards to the extent possible. Collected data were analyzed using statistics, and age, cover, and half-cell potential were ultimately selected for inclusion in a new Utah Bridge Deck Index (UBDI); these variables effectively reflect chloride-induced corrosion mechanisms active on Utah bridge decks, are highly correlated to delamination distresses, and are relatively easy to measure compared to chloride concentration. At the request of Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) personnel, the UBDI equation was structured around a deduct system using a 100-point scale similar to the sufficiency rating system, in which a perfect bridge deck receives a score of 100. Coefficients were selected based largely on the judgment of the researchers and the UDOT personnel involved in the research, and threshold values for maintenance, rehabilitation, and replacement (MR&R) options were specified to be the same as those associated with the standard sufficiency ratings. The UBDI and corresponding MR&R recommendation were then provided for each of the bridge decks tested in this research; nine of the decks are recommended for preventive treatment, and six are recommended for rehabilitation. In addition, the possibility of treatment applications was considered, leading to required adjustments in the UBDI calculation; the treatment options that were considered include an epoxy seal, an HPC overlay, and an asphalt membrane overlay. Four case scenarios were developed to demonstrate the response of the revised UBDI equation to these treatments. Finally, as aids for UDOT personnel implementing this research, charts were created to facilitate rapid determination of the required number of half-cell potential and concrete cover measurements for different levels of reliability and tolerance. The UBDI developed in this research is recommended for implementation by UDOT personnel as a tool for optimizing the timing of MR&R treatments on concrete bridge decks similar to those evaluated in this project. In measuring cover and half-cell potential values, UDOT personnel should utilize the sampling guidelines presented in this report to ensure adequate characterization of each deck. Furthermore, to facilitate the inclusion of treatment effects in the UBDI, UDOT personnel should establish a policy of recording the types and dates of all MR&R treatments applied to bridge decks. As performance data are collected for specific treatments over time, the treatment lives proposed in this research for epoxy seals, HPC overlays, and asphalt membrane overlays should be revised as needed, and information for other treatments may be added. In addition, to maximize the predictive capabilities of the UBDI, more accurate relationships between half-cell potential values and deck age should be developed for estimating future deck condition.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





bridge inspection, bridge management, chloridie concentration, concrete bridge deck, cover thickness, half-cell potential, sounding, visual inspection