The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Research and Technology (R&T) Evaluation Program seeks to assess and communicate the benefits of FHWA’s R&T efforts; ensure that the organization is expending public resources efficiently and effectively; and build evidence to shape and improve policymaking. Beginning in 2019, FHWA requested that the Transportation Research Board be directly involved in managing evaluations of selected projects.
This report provides an evaluation of the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) Ultra-high Performance Concrete (UHPC) Research and Development Program. The UHPC Program was initiated in 2002 and is housed at the FHWA Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC). UHPC is a cementitious composite material with higher compressive, tensile, and flexural strength; lower permeability; and improved durability than conventional concrete. UHPC is used in highway bridges, particularly for bridge-deck level connections for prefabricated bridge elements. Program activities include large-scale structural testing along with activities to promote broader implementation of UHPC connections (UHPC-C) for highway bridges.
For project TFPE-03 “Evaluation of Ultra-High Performance Concrete Connections”, RTI International was tasked to evaluate the management of the UHPC Program, assess the effectiveness of activities in encouraging implementation of UHPC-C, and estimate the benefits and costs of adopting UHPC-C. The effort included an assessment of the business case for adoption of UHPC-C and the barriers to adoption by transportation agencies and other stakeholders in the bridge delivery supply chain.