Evaluation of H-pile Corrosion Rates for WI Bridges Located in Aggressive Subsurface Environments

On September 25, 2013, Pier 22 for the Leo Frigo Bridge (B-05-381) near Green Bay, Wisconsin, moved vertically approximately two feet. One of the root causes of the vertical movement was the reduced structural capacity due to the loss of section of the steel H-piles that supported the pier as a result of severe corrosion. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the corrosion rate at a limited number of structures around the State of Wisconsin. Wisconsin Department of transportation’s (WisDOT) Bureau of Structures and Bureau of Technical Services has compiled a list of structures which could have similar subsurface conditions to those encountered at the Leo Frigo Bridge. The objective of this research was to evaluate the potential corrosion rates of the piles at a limited number of specific bridges and to develop guidelines for future investigation procedures for evaluating potential pile corrosion in the project design stage. The efforts here aimed to evaluate H-pile corrosion rates for Wisconsin bridges located in aggressive subsurface environments. The obtained information from the literature review, laboratory tests and field investigation were used to derive the following conclusions:(i) The environments based on corrosion activity of the embedded steel was ranked, (ii) The best corrosion measurement technique(s) for monitoring the corrosion activity of steel in soil, by comparing the results from the gravimetric test and different electrochemical methods was determined, (iii) The remained service life of steel specimens in selected environments was evaluated and estimated, (iv) Different corrosion mechanisms (galvanic vs. localized or combined) were compared and the significance of each mechanism in corrosion of the H-pile in different soil environments was determined, and (v) A predictive model based on neural network was developed. Through this project, the design assumptions related to the corrosion was evaluated and confirmed. Advanced corrosion monitoring program was used during this work which enabled WisDOT to overcome some current difficulties in estimating the accurate corrosion rate of the H-piles in corrosive environments. The products of the proposed research project were the correlation between subsurface environments and the corrosion activity of the H-piles throughout the State of Wisconsin. The project reports included recommendations that will be used by WisDOT personnel as the basis for a comprehensive corrosion policy in design and installation of bridges with H-pile foundations.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 129p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01716809
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: WHRP 0092-16-03
  • Contract Numbers: 0092-16-03
  • Created Date: Aug 26 2019 8:19AM