Growing Need For Sustainable Highway Infrastructure

Growing Need For Sustainable Highway Infrastructure

There is a growing need for the maintenance and repair of North America’s highway infrastructure. The deteriorated condition of aging bridges and roads create many financial challenges. Most of the old highway bridges in the United States were designed for a 50-year lifespan. The majority of these bridges were not built in accordance with the AASHTO Bridge Design Specification which calls for a 75-year lifespan.

The surface transportation network includes light rail trains (LRT), waterways, aviation terminals, bus transit systems, bridges, tunnels, and roads. Together or separately, these structures play a critical role in the efficient movement of goods and people around the United States and beyond.

Although America’s network of bridges and roads plays a key role in national growth, it hasn’t been properly maintained for decades. It is estimated that more than $170 billion of annual capital investment is required to resolve deteriorating conditions.

Bridge Decks

According to a recent report, more than 12% of all bridges in the United States are labeled as structurally deficient and over 13% are functionally obsolete. Bridge decks are more vulnerable to degradation due to their perpetual exposure to vehicular wheel loads and the aggressive environment. It has become critical to pay due attention to these bridges or the traveling public may face safety risks.

Deck failure doesn’t usually lead to any catastrophic results. However, deteriorating bridge decks must be rehabilitated or replaced immediately in order to avoid consequences. Considering the deficiencies with traditional materials, it has now become very important to study and implement sustainable, corrosion-free materials.

Role of composite materials in building sustainable concrete infrastructure

GFRP decks are modular systems which are strong yet inherently light. As compared to steel, composite bridge decks are easy to install; bridge rehabilitation can be done in a few days instead of months. As a corrosion-free material, composite bridge decks achieve longer service life than other types of traditional bridge decks. In addition, the quality of the finished product can be improved when manufactured in a factory environment where it is possible to accurately and frequently use strict ISO-9001 quality assurance criteria.

Well-planned highway infrastructure adds to the quality of life and puts less burden on taxpayers in the long run. The major concern is how to provide high serviceability and durable roads while preserving the environment.


TUF-BAR is a leading manufacturer of composite construction products in North America. We strive to help the infrastructure community build long-lasting and maintenance-free concrete structures. Our GFRP fiberglass rebar is a lighter and stronger alternative to traditional steel. Lightweight, superior tensile strength and electromagnetic neutrality are the prime properties of our GFRP products which also have a life cycle of over 100 years. Browse through our website to learn more about our products.