The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) is using a recyclable resource to renovate worn bridges along one of the busier highways in Salt Lake County.
On Friday, the agency demonstrated an inventive system of high-pressure water jets to refurbish bridge decks on the $105 million I-215 project.
The hydro demolition technique is being used to remove the top few inches of the pavement on I-215 bridge, leaving most of the existing pavement and reinforcing steel intact.
The hydro demolition process utilizes a machine that moves over sections of bridge pavement spraying water under ultra-high pressure to remove the top 3 to 4 in. of the concrete deck.
The machine sprays water at up to 36,000 lb per sq in. After a few passes, a cleaning crew with a vacuum collects the water and concrete material broken up by the machine. The vacuum uses a water jet to dislodge debris and then suck it up.
The hydro demolition apparatus sprays 15,000 to 17,000 gal per 10-hour shift. The water and debris are collected on-site, pumped into tanks, filtered, then sent to a treatment plant and recycled back into the system. All of the vacuumed materials are reused as road base on construction projects.
Work on the I-215 project is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2017.