Preservation of transportation infrastructure includes work that is planned and performed to improve or sustain the condition of the asset in a state of good repair. Preservation activities generally do not add capacity or structural value, but do restore the overall condition of the transportation facility.

FHWA Guide on Highway Preservation and Maintenance


 Currently, 49% of VDOT’s bridges have exceeded their 50-year service life and it is expected this number will grow to 64% in ten years. With so many bridges nearing the end of their life span, what can local agencies do to effectively manage their bridge inventories?

While rehabilitation and replacement may be necessary for older bridges, local agencies can look to preservation as a key component of their asset management planning. By avoiding a “worst-first” approach, agencies can more effectively balance preservation with rehabilitation strategies, avoiding cost-prohibitive bridge replacements while extending the life span of the bridge, effectively managing limited resources, and improving safety for the traveling public.

Join instructor, Jose Gomez, PE, for this one-day workshop on best practices in bridge preservation. With a focus on locally maintained bridges in Virginia, the workshop provides an overview of structure conditions and details of bridge preservation treatments including:

  • Deck and seat cleaning
  • Deck crack sealing
  • Seat waterproofing
  • Leaking joints
  • Sealing joints – pourable (silicone) seals, adhesive-based joint sealing systems, elastomeric expansion dams (strip seals), tooth joints, asphalt plug joints
  • Deck patching
  • Thin (epoxy) overlays, rigid overlays
  • Reconstruction of deck ends and abutment backwalls adjacent to joints
  • Closing joints
  • Concrete superstructure and substructure surface repairs
  • Structural steel repairs
  • Fatigue retrofitting
  • Scour repairs
  • Cathodic protection
  • Electrochemical chloride extraction.

Intended for bridge owners and bridge preservation practitioners, this workshop provides how-to strategies for improving the condition of Virginia’s bridges. The interactive lecture format offers robust opportunities for group discussions around local preservation challenges. “The workshop provides a comprehensive overview of current bridge preservation techniques,” stated Gomez. “Those new to the field receive valuable fundamental information while those with some experience gain insights into new approaches and assessment strategies.”

What’s on the horizon for bridge preservation? “We’ll discuss emerging technologies that have the capacity to extend an agency’s preservation dollars with innovations in steel and concrete, and even jointless bridges,” explained Gomez.


Bridge Preservation for Locally Maintained Bridges
10/08/2019  |  Virginia Beach, VA

About the Instructor:

Jose Gomez was most recently the Director of Research for the Virginia Transportation Research Council, the Virginia Department of Transportation’s research division. He first joined the Research Council in June of 1992 as a Research Scientist and spent 9 years conducting applied research and technical consultation in the areas of bridge engineering; focusing on field testing, computer modeling, the use of advanced structural materials in bridge design, and bridge management. Jose served the next 9 years as Associate Director of Research, managing the Structures, Pavements, and Geotechnical Research Team, and was named Director of Research in April, 2011, retiring in August 2016. Highlights of his career at VTRC include Principal or co-Principal Investigator on 16 external grants totaling over $5.4 million in research and implementation funds, author or co-author of 42 research reports, and co-PI to Rutgers University, the lead agency in the initial FHWA Long-Term Bridge Performance Program Grant. This grant total was $25 million, of which $5 million came to VTRC in support of the bridge research program. He is currently a Lecturer in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. He has a BS in Civil Engineering from VMI and Masters’ and Doctorate in Civil Engineering from U.Va. Jose is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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