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Section 6: Bridge Columns

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Risks of Chemical Damage

Columns attach the foundations to the caps which support the beams. Chemical damage occurs when expansion joints fail and chemical solution flows through the expansion joint, down the beam, down the face of the cap and down the column. If chemical stock piles are stored next to bridge structures the corrosive forces of the chemicals will induce damage to the columns.

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Don’t Store Chemicals by Columns

To eliminate chemical damage to columns, do not store chemical materials next to columns and maintain and repair bridge joints.

Column deterioration from chemical solution
contamination. (click in image to see full-size image) Anchor: #i999174grtop

Figure 5-9. Column deterioration from chemical solution contamination.

Close up of the damage.  Notice the #9 bars
are starting to buckle.  Two reasons this could be happening:  1.
 Rust could be pushing on concrete causing the buckling.  2.  The
column could be shortening.  This bridge was replaced after 20 years
of service. (click in image to see full-size image) Anchor: #i999176grtop

Figure 5-10. Close up of the damage. Notice the #9 bars are starting to buckle. Two reasons this could be happening: 1. Rust could be pushing on concrete causing the buckling. 2. The column could be shortening. This bridge was replaced after 20 years of service.

Salt storage under a bridge next to bridge
columns. (click in image to see full-size image) Anchor: #i999178grtop

Figure 5-11. Salt storage under a bridge next to bridge columns.

Damage created due to the salt storage. (click in image to see full-size image) Anchor: #i999180grtop

Figure 5-12. Damage created due to the salt storage.

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