To designers, reinforcing-steel corrosion in bridge decks is an unrelenting enemy. For many years, Ontario engineers used an arch-action design concept to reduce the amount of steel in hundreds of cast-in-place bridge decks. More recently, Canadian researchers extended this concept by designing and building four cast-in-place deck slabs without any internal steel and developed a patented steel-free precast bridge deck panel for highway, forestry and mining bridges.
To bridge owners and users in British Columbia, forestry bridges seemed to be a good place to apply the arching concept that had been under active development across the continent in Nova Scotia. A new design emerged, trademarked as ArchPanel, which is entirely devoid of tensile reinforcement. The ArchPanels have been approved for forestry bridge installations. Big benefits come from the light weight, which reduces both transportation and installation costs. Without internal reinforcement to corrode, the panels could virtually eliminate a major bridge deck problem.
Keywords: bridge, deck, ArchPanel, Lindquist, Western Concrete Products, Canada, Bahkt, Mufti