By Steve Baker – Regional Manager – Denso North America
In 2003, the concrete bridge that supports Interstate 45 near Clear Lake, TX, was rehabilitated with the SeaShield Series 500 System. The Project included the complete encapsulation of 36 ea. 16” square x 12’ concrete piles. The contractor, Orion Marine Construction, utilized 16-3/4” square SeaShield Fiber-Form jackets which yielded a 3/8” annular space that was pumped and filled with SeaShield 550 Epoxy Grout. The epoxy grout, due to its outstanding flow characteristics, was able to completely fill in all voids, cracks and minor spalls in the piles.
A recent inspection in early 2020 revealed that the Series 500 System was performing as designed after 17 years in service. Furthermore, the system was able to provide additional abrasion and impact resistance that protected the piles from major Hurricane’s Rita and Ike in 2007 and 2008. Tidal surges from these storms brought in destructive flotsam and debris that impacted many of the piles along the I-45 corridor from Galveston to Houston, however this bridge withstood any damage due to the robust Series 500 System.
Along with the outstanding mechanical protection that the system adds, it also provides excellent compressive, flexural and tensile strength, as well as outstanding bond strength to the concrete piles. The Texas Department of Transportation can rest assured that the SeaShield Series 500 System will provide many more years of additional service life to these concrete piles.