Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil Engineering

Major Professor

Dr. Ed Burdette

Committee Members

Dr. Z. John Ma, Dr. James Mason


In today’s world of ever increasing demand on a weakening infrastructure, concentration is being firmly placed on increasing the sustainability of that infrastructure. Tennessee’s bridges and the concrete decks, on which the public travels, require a large part of the state’s infrastructure spending. Research has shown the current durability standards of Tennessee’s bridge decks could be significantly improved which would both increase service life and reduce maintenance costs of these structures. This research concentrates on greatly increasing the lifespan of these bridge decks, throughout the state, through an improved construction specification which will encourage the increased use of supplementary cementitious materials. These improved construction specifications would be performance based in nature and would give suppliers increased freedom to provide a more durable product while simultaneously reducing costs. This new performance based specification will remove the current stringent prescriptive requirements and will use the measurement of surface resistivity (SR) as a key variable to be assessed as a measure of performance. The ultimate goal of implementing a performance based specification is to achieve more durable bridge deck concrete. The proposed specification presented herein grew out of two years of research related to assessing the current situation regarding bridge deck concrete in Tennessee and the development of methodology to perform this assessment.

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