A recent 60 Minutes TV broadcast called “Falling Apart” explains that “America’s roads, bridges, airports and rail lines are outdated and need to be fixed” due to decades of neglect.
The broadcast went on to state that “nearly 70,000 bridges in America – one out of every nine – is now considered to be structurally deficient.” According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, 32 percent of America’s major roads are in “poor condition” and in need of major repairs.
The problem with much of America’s infrastructure is that it has outlived its intended service life, and a failure of traditional waterproofing coatings has led to a significant corrosion of structural elements, including corroded rebar and crumbling concrete.
Fortunately, new high-performance waterproofing alternatives are replacing more traditional materials such as sheet goods and sacrificial short-term liquid sealants to help civil and structural engineers cost-effectively protect and maintain critical infrastructure ranging from rail, highway, and pedestrian bridges to tunnels, parking decks, airport terminals, and DOT entrance/exit ramps.
This new category of spray applied waterproofing products are seamless, rugged, fast curing, impervious to water, able to bridge cracks, and capable of lasting decades without extensive maintenance.
“Spray applied waterproofing now accounts for over 50% of the membranes applied to our bridges,” says Alexander Bardow, P.E., MassDOT’s State Bridge Engineer, member of AASHTO’s Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures representing Massachusetts, and past President of Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section of ASCE.
“What drove us to spray applied waterproofing is its enhanced durability, bonding to concrete, and crack bridging ability,” says Bardow, who oversees and helps to prioritize work on 5,000 bridges that receive federal funds for MassDOT.
To learn more about spray applied waterproofing and how it can help fix America’s infrastructure crisis, click here.