Structures in direct contact with coastal waters experiencecorrosion activity around the tidal and splash zone areas.Uncontrolled corrosion of reinforcing steel and prestressingstrands in marine structures can decrease the life expectancyof a structure to a fraction of its design life.
Many of Florida’s coastal structures suffer from prematuredeterioration of substructure elements. The reinforcing steelor prestressing strands do not have a protective coating andoverdriving of concrete piles during construction causedhairline cracks in the concrete that serve as a direct path formoisture, oxygen and chlorides to reach the reinforcing steel.
Faced with this deteriorating condition, the Florida Departmentof Transportation (FDOT) aggressively implemented a corrosionprotection program to mitigate the corrosion process ofsubstructure elements. Both impressed current and galvaniccathodic protection systems have been regularly installedsince 1991, and as of today approximately 40 impressed currentsystems have been installed on coastal bridges on both theeast and west coasts and throughout the Florida Keys.
Because impressed current systems require a low voltage DCpower supply to be constantly on for the system to functionproperly, monitoring is required. The travel distance from theFDOT Corrosion Lab in Gainesville to various sites for monitoringproved overwhelming after a few years, so the decision wasmade to invest and install remote monitor units at all sites.Remote monitors allow engineers to access the rectifier andother equipment from anywhere with an internet connection.
As the number of installations grew, so did the number ofremote monitors and the need to outsource the monitoringand maintenance of the systems. The FDOT awarded Corrproa two-year contract beginning in July 2015 to perform thiswork. Under this contract, engineers from Corrpro’s Floridaoffice perform the following scope of services:
- Monthly remote monitoring and reporting of all sites statewide
- Maintaining and upgrading the website for accessing the sitesat www.myfloridabridges.com
- Visiting sites to maintain and upgrade equipment
- Developing and installing new remotely-controlled equipmentsuch as cameras, weather stations, scour monitors, tideelevation, etc., that can be used by engineers to assessbridge conditions
Corrpro currently manufactures and supplies thematerials and equipment used today on FDOT impressedcurrent system such as anodes, reference electrodes,rectifiers and remote monitors.