Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering (Engineering)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Antonio Nanni

Second Committee Member

Marco Savoia

Third Committee Member

Francisco De Caso y Basalo


The demand for the development of a more efficient and durable transportation infrastructure is among the priorities of highway authorities worldwide. In the United States, the economic impact of steel corrosion for concrete highway bridges is estimated to exceed 15 percent of the total annual costs. Glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) is highly suitable as internal reinforcement for structures subjected to corrosive environments. A number of projects have demonstrated its viability as an alternative reinforcement for bridge decks and design provisions are currently available in several countries. Nowadays, manufacturers can produce standard bar bends which can be applied to design and construct bridge components, such as pile caps and traffic barriers. The implementation of GFRP requires addressing changes in the current design philosophy for bridge structures. Whereas the overall goal of the research program is to make new technology available to bridge owners and professionals, this thesis provides principles and procedures for the design of highway concrete bridge components reinforced with GFRP bars.


Composites; GFRP; parapets; traffic barriers; bridge; concrete