Concrete Bridges Stand for a Century, Can Be Replaced in a Day

High Performance Concrete (HPC) is used to build bridges of superior durability and low maintenance that stand up to harsh weather and corrosive chemicals. From the 13-km long Confederation Bridge linking New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island to a simple pedestrian path over a highway, HPC makes cost-effective bridges that can last 100 years and more. Concrete bridges with their inherent design flexibility and low life cycle costs consistently outperform and outlast those made of other materials.

And now, when a concrete bridge comes to the end of its service, new technology and methods have made it possible to replace that bridge in only a day. A replacement bridge is prefabricated on a site near the existing bridge. When it is complete, traffic is temporarily rerouted, the old bridge is lifted out and the new bridge is put in place using a new rapid replacement method. The whole process of replacing the bridge is completed in less than a day. The old method could take up to two years. This process proved so successful in replacing the busy Queensway (Highway 417) Island Park Bridge in Ottawa in 2007 that Ontario's Ministry of Transportation has already scheduled at least four more rapid replacement projects.