Public infrastructure plays a critical role in a nation’s development and success, especially for a developed economy like Canada. One-third of Canada’s highway bridges are going through functional or structural deficiencies. While there are more than 20 million light vehicles and 15,000 transit buses using Canadian bridges annually, public infrastructure should ensure the safe and efficient movement of commercial goods across borders and within the country. Delaying necessary bridge rehabilitation can lead to tragic consequences.
In North America, there are more than 685,000 bridges, 80,000 of them are situated in Canada. In Canada, more than 30% of highway bridges are either functionally obsolete or structurally deficient. More than $48 billion was allocated from 2007 to 2014 as a part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan to revitalize and upgrade the country’s infrastructure. Approximately $5 billion is required annually to rehabilitate Canada’s bridges.
In the United States, structurally deficient bridges are used more than 174 million times daily. It is also reported that if timely steps are not taken, it would take more than 37 years to rehabilitate or replace all of the country’s structurally deficient concrete infrastructure.
It is important for the construction industry to reduce operating costs of bridges and other critical concrete infrastructure. Exploring advanced and innovative construction and rehabilitation materials has become inevitable as the maintenance costs to repair deteriorated concrete structures is rising every year.
Significance of advanced composite materials
Needless to say that advanced composite materials such as GFRP (Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer) rebar have the potential to effectively meet bridge owner’s needs. Efforts are already being made to develop maintenance-free and long-life structures. However, new construction materials have to break technical barriers and present economically viable solutions.
Considering the current situation of concrete infrastructure in Canada and across North America, It has become critical to find alternatives to traditional materials which can build corrosion-free and maintenance-free structures. The right use of improved civil engineering technology, such as fiberglass-reinforced materials, is the only way to ensure sustainability.
While reducing the traffic on bridges and redistributing bridges’ structural stress may be a possible solution, it would be ideal to encourage the widespread use of corrosion-free and stronger longer lasting materials. GFRP rebar is the best example of how innovation can help us resolve several long standing structural issues. From building new bridges to repairing existing ones, GFRP reinforcement is a cost-effective and long-term construction solution.
Modernizing Canada’s public infrastructure and deploying new technologies is one solution to avoid a devastating economic crisis in the future.
The role of TUF-BAR
Considering the ongoing battle against concrete corrosion and structural deficiency in North America, TUF-BAR is actively working towards developing materials that can help the construction industry durably repair existing structures and build corrosion-free, high-strength, and cost-effective highway infrastructure which can address future challenges. Visit our website for more information!