The durability of bridges built with modern materials such as reinforced and prestressed concrete has not been as good as expected. In particular the combination of concrete, ferrous reinforcement and the use of deicing salts has, in some locations, proved disastrous. The cost of rectifying defective bridges, some less than 30 years old, is prohibitive. Recognition of the problem led the Department of Transport (now Highways Agency) to prepare a Draft Standard and Advice Note entitled 'Design for Durability', which was circulated within the industry in 1993. The Draft Standard promotes the concept of jointless (integral) bridges and contains a proposal to develop forms of bridge which do not rely on ferrous materials. In addition to encouraging engineers to look to the future and the development of new materials, the initiative has produced a new interest in old technology, the masonry arch. This type of structure has stood the test of time remarkably well and seems to meet all the durability criteria now required. This paper seeks to review the advantages of masonry arch technology and to propose new developments based on the use of plain (unreinforced) precast concrete blocks. (A)


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 645-52

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00720005
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 0-7277-2048-1
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Apr 26 1996 12:00AM