The University of Toledo University Transportation Center

UTUTC-IU-18: Strengthening of Bridge Columns Subjected to an Impact Lateral Load Caused by Vehicle Collision

Focus Area: Infrastructure Utilization


Principal Investigator:

Dr. Azadeh Parvin
Associate Professor
Department of Civil Engineering
The University of Toledo       

Project Dates: 01/01/2010 – 12/31/2010; no-cost extension to 06/30/2011

Project Year: Year 4

UT-UTC Designation: UTUTC-IU-18



During the last decade fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) materials have gained wide acceptance for repair and retrofit of existing infrastructures or to design new infrastructures due to their desirable properties (high strength to weight ratio, light weight and consequent ease of field placement, corrosion resistance, durability, and low maintenance cost among others).  There is a need to strengthen the deficient and aging civil infrastructure or new structures that are identified with certain design flaws against sudden loads including impact, blast, natural disasters, or increased traffic loads over time.  The addition of FRP materials to upgrade the deficiencies or to strengthen the structural components prior to collapse can save lives and damage to infrastructure, and reduces the need for their costly replacement.  Furthermore, due to their desirable properties, the retrofit with the FRP materials provides an excellent replacement for traditional materials including steel jacket to strengthen the damaged reinforced concrete structural members that are repairable.  According to various reports including those by the Department of Transportation (DOT), there are a number of accidental vehicle-bridge component collisions reported every year that result in loss of lives and severe property damages.  These outcomes suggest that some of these bridges are not impact proof.    

In this phase of the proposed project, a literature review will be performed to gather information about FRP strengthening of bridge related projects in the US and Canada, and evaluate the benefits associated with the FRP strengthening as opposed to any other alternatives. Special attention will be paid on the bridge damage due to the impact lateral load.  The compiled information will help prepare the ground work for further evaluation of the bridges that are in serious need for repair or replacement either due to accidental impact or deterioration, and to propose an innovative and reliable bridge repair technique that is fast, durable and cost efficient.



UT-UTC Grant
Match Amount
Total Project 

$   15,000 
$   33,119
$   48,118
Final Report:
   Final report  PDF Symbol
Last Updated: 6/9/16