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HPC Bridge Views Goes Electronic
Basile G. Rabbat, National Concrete Bridge Council
Welcome to the new HPC Bridge Views. Under a recent cooperative agreement between the Federal Highway Administration and the National Concrete Bridge Council (NCBC), the Council will publish 22 new issues of the HPC Bridge Views newsletter. This activity satisfies a provision of the current highway bill, SAFETEA-LU, concerning the Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment Program. A few goals of this program include (1) the documentation and wide dissemination of objective evaluations of the performance and benefits of innovative designs, materials, and construction methods, and (2) the effective transfer of resulting information and technology.

Since publication of the first issue of HPC Bridge Views in January 1999, the focus of the newsletter has been on bridge design, materials, and construction issues for high performance concrete (HPC) bridges. Under the latest agreement, a new issue of the newsletter will be released bimonthly. The emphasis will be on durability, high strength, lightweight, and self-consolidating concrete. This is in line with FHWA's vision for the Bridge of the Future having attributes of Longer-life using Innovations to accomplish Fast construction of Efficient and safe bridges. It also matches with the goals of NCBC's strategic plan for widespread implementation of HPC for bridges in the United States—Building a New Generation of Bridges available at www.cement.org/hp.

To ensure that all issues reach interested parties in a timely manner, the newsletter will only be published in electronic format. A new, dedicated website, www.hpcbridgeviews.org, houses the e-newsletters. For the readers' convenience, previous issues of HPC Bridge Views are also posted on this new website.

Given that HPC Bridge Views has been around since 1999, has the definition of "High Performance Concrete" (HPC) changed during the last decade? According to the American Concrete Institute, high performance concrete is defined as concrete meeting special combinations of performance and uniformity requirements that cannot always be achieved routinely using conventional constituents and normal mixing, placing, and curing practices. The definition of HPC is as valid today as it was when the first issue of HPC Bridge Views was published in January 1999.

In addition to incorporating ingredients used in conventional concrete, HPC uses additional cementitious materials and admixtures. The proportions are engineered to meet the demands of each project. These demands may be to achieve high early strength, minimize creep and shrinkage effects, control heat of hydration, improve permeability and reduce chloride penetration, reduce density, increase modulus of elasticity, or provide long-service life.

During the last decade, almost all states have implemented HPC in one form or another, on one or more bridges. Several states have developed HPC standards, which are routinely specified for construction of HPC bridges. Other states continue to improve their concrete mixes and construction practices. HPC Bridge Views is designed to keep all stakeholders abreast of the latest information on HPC and provide resources to acquire more detailed information. This includes research findings, construction practices, and technology deployment.

The first 46 issues of HPC Bridge Views have included over 180 articles covering the full spectrum of applications of HPC to bridge superstructures and substructures: mix design, test procedures for improved quality control, construction practices, and bridge design. The new HPC Bridge Views will continue to serve as a vehicle to share success stories and lessons learned to help improve the condition of our nation's bridges.

We are delighted that Dr. Henry G. Russell will continue to be Editor of HPC Bridge Views. Henry has maintained a high level of technical and editorial excellence starting with the first issue. We appreciate his thorough professionalism.

To receive future issues, click here. If you know of someone else that would benefit from being on the mailing list, please forward this e-newsletter to them.

HPC Bridge Views, Issue 47, Jan/Feb 2008