Confederation Bridge is a precast box girder structure spanning 13 kilometres over the Northumberland Strait, connecting New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. While PEI may be called the “gentle island,” its surrounding water tells a different story. Moving ice, splashing water from high winds, and frequent freeze/thaw cycles are all contributors to abrasion and corrosion. The structure required protection using HPC with increased concrete cover to ensure the bridge would withstand this harsh environment.
Our Dartmouth laboratory was used extensively for advanced testing. We analyzed extended slump life, creep, underwater abrasion resistance, moisture retention of curing compounds, adiabatic heat development, freeze/thaw durability, air void parameters, washout resistance, strength of epoxy bonding agents, splitting tensile and compressive strength, and drying shrinkage. These tests help ensure the concrete meets the 100-year design life of the structure.