Historic Maryland bridge rehab project implements waterproofing overlay

April 17, 2018
The Carroll Avenue Bridge in Takoma Park, Md.
The Carroll Avenue Bridge in Takoma Park, Md.

Historically and visually impressive, the S.R. 195 (Carroll Avenue) bridge is a three-span, 224-ft structure that crosses the Sligo Creek Parkway, Sligo Creek and the Sligo Creek Trail in Takoma Park, Md.

The origins of the S.R. 195 bridge began in 1878 with a humble, low-lying wooden bridge that was susceptible to rising storm waters. In 1909, the old bridge was replaced with reinforced concrete to accommodate the increased traffic from the neighboring Washington Adventist Hospital and the Washington Adventist University. The bridge was then completely deconstructed in 1932 and replaced with the current structure, now known as the Carroll Avenue Bridge.

In 2015, the bridge underwent major rehabilitation to fix structurally deficient areas while preserving the historical integrity of the 100-year-old landmark. Restoration work included the complete replacement of the bridge deck (driving surface), beams, the columns above the arches, sidewalks, railings and ornamental lighting, as well as the reinforcement of the historically distinguishable three arches.

All elements of the bridge above the arches were renovated in a manner that incorporates modern bridge standards yet maintains the historical appearance of the bridge in order to retain its eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places.

Due to the successful use of MAPEI’s Planiseal Traffic Coat epoxy overlay on other Maryland bridges, the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Maryland State Highway Administration contacted MAPEI Concrete Restoration Systems representative Vince Beyer to request the product for use in replacing the S.R. 195 bridge’s traffic deck. Planiseal Traffic Coat is formulated to improve the long-term durability of the traffic deck by preventing the penetration of moisture and chloride ions into the deck, producing a water- and skid- resistant surface.

As the Carroll Avenue Bridge is a high-traffic area, the use of Planiseal Traffic Coat ensures that the bridge can handle heavy vehicular traffic while combating deterioration from seasonal weather conditions.

The deck was completely overlaid by Martins Construction of Falls Church, Va., who served as a subcontractor to construction company Kiewit. Martins used the specialty installer Venture Construction Company to complete the application.

For surface preparation, the team shotblasted the deck to clean the surface and open up the pore structure of the concrete. Afterwards, the crew applied two coats of Planiseal Traffic Coat with an aggregate broadcast, allowing time to cure between each application.

To complete the construction, installers used large tanker trucks equipped with a meter mix and dispenser system to pump the blended two-part system onto the surface. Planiseal Traffic Coat addressed the need for long-term resilience, functioning as a waterproofing overlay that provides a skid-resistant membrane solution.

The Carroll Avenue reconstruction met the completion timeframe and remained within budget. The bridge officially reopened in July of 2017.

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