A Bridge to Cross: HydroDemolition and Bridge Repair

January 24, 2024

Did you know that over 220,000 U.S. bridges need repair? And that 45,000 bridges remain “structurally deficient” and in poor condition? Those numbers are staggering especially when you consider just how much we use these bridges each day. At any given time, one of these bridges can collapse, causing a disaster for those on and around the bridge. The repair of our nation’s bridges is important, and bridge deck HydroDemolition offers an excellent method to repair them. How does HydroDemolition help bridge repair? What sets it apart?

Understanding HydroDemolition 

HydroDemolition, also known as hydro-blasting, employs high-pressure water jets to precisely remove concrete from bridge surfaces (and other surfaces too.) This method’s precision involves directing water at immense velocities onto targeted areas, effectively dislodging concrete without compromising the underlying steel reinforcement. This means that your rebar stays intact, and your job is completed efficiently and quickly. In fact, HydroDemolition has been shown to be three times faster than a standard chipping hammer!

The Dance of Preservation and Precision

HydroDemolition brings a dance of preservation and precision to the realm of bridge repair. For the HydroDemolition of bridge decks to run smoothly, and for results to be optimal, you’ve got to make sure that you have the best equipment and the best team. Aggregate Technologies operates some of the finest HydroDemolion equipment on the market. Our technology is so efficient that just one to two people are needed at a time to run the machinery. Furthermore, our team is highly trained and drug-free. With Aggregate Technologies, you’ll get the finest equipment and the finest team.

HydroDemolition bridge deck repair offers many benefits as part of the song and dance, these benefits include things like:

Preserving Structural Integrity

Unlike traditional methods like jackhammers, HydroDemolition selectively targets your areas of concrete while preserving the sound structure underneath and around your zone. This preservation minimizes stress on the bridge’s core, ensuring its overall structural integrity. By utilizing HydroDemolition, we’d be able to preserve more while getting more done in less time.

Enhanced Repair Adherence

The roughened surface created by HydroDemolition provides an optimal substrate for superior adhesion between the existing structure and repair materials. This enhanced bond ensures the longevity and durability of repairs. Bridge repairs are done utilizing HydroDemolition and last about three times longer than traditional methods. This makes a huge difference and showcases the superiority of HydroDemolition repair methods.

We’ll Cross That Bridge: Why HydroDemolition Reigns Superior

HydroDemoliton harnesses the amazing power of water to help remove specific areas of concrete and other materials. In relation to bridge repair, using HydroDemolition helps to create an easier process with better results. HydroDemolition  is the way of the future, and for good reason, as there are many benefits such as:

Reduced Construction Time

Its precision and efficiency significantly reduce repair times, minimizing traffic disruptions and expediting the restoration of critical transportation routes. This means that by choosing HydroDemolition for bridge deck repairs, you’re choosing efficiency that gets our infrastructure running quickly. Not every city can handle having bridges and roads closed for elongated periods, so getting things fixed, safe, and operational faster is always better. HydroDemolition can reduce construction time and even costs while improving longevity and results. 


 Environmental Friendliness

Compared to conventional methods, HydroDemolition produces less airborne dust and noise pollution, aligning with eco-friendly construction practices. HydroDemolition practically eliminates silica dust, meaning it’s a safer and more environmentally friendly method of bridge repair. Aggregate Technologies goes further, recycling up to70% of the water used in HydroDemolition projects, once treated to reach the required PH level This means that HydroDemolition reduces pollution, materials, and waste, making it a safer and smarter option for the environment and those who live in it.  

The Impact on Infrastructure and Transportation

The influence of HydroDemolition extends beyond individual bridge repairs. Many roads and other structures have also benefited from HydroDemolition. HydroDemolition is precise and can remove as much as 800 sq ft of bridge deck at a depth of 4 inches per shift, depending on the job. Further, with the proper accessories, a HydroDemolition robot can handle concrete removal on any part of a bridge, even columns, parapets, girders, and the underside. HydroDemolition can even be performed underwater!

With more transportation services requesting HydroDemolition, it’s important to understand some other benefits that it carries, such as:

Economic Savings

Studies indicate that HydroDemolition can save up to 40% in repair costs compared to traditional methods, reflecting economic benefits for communities and governments, and even private clients.

Long-Term Sustainability

 By extending the lifespan of bridges and infrastructure, HydroDemolition contributes to sustainable development, reducing the frequency of costly and extensive repairs. Repairs made using HydroDemolition last at least three times longer than traditional repairs, making it the preferred and sustainable choice for infrastructure repair.  There are many great resources for learning more about the effects of heavyweight jackhammers, such as this one. 

Case Studies: HydroDemolition  Success Stories

Real-life examples of HydroDemolition ‘s success in bridge repair serve as a testament to its efficacy. The use of HydroDemolition is everywhere, even when you don’t realize it!

 While Aggregate Technologies has plenty of our own success stories, here are two big names that most of our readers should recognize.  

The Brent Spence Bridge

 HydroDemolition was instrumental in repairing this vital bridge connecting Ohio and Kentucky, minimizing traffic disruptions, and ensuring the bridge’s continued functionality. The Brent Spence Bridge was built in 1963 and was originally designed to support 80,000 daily vehicle crossings across the Ohio River. Currently, the bridge carries double that traffic volume, which creates a lot of wear and tear. Many plans have proposed further repairs and new infrastructure to help support the traffic and the bridge, some of which will likely use HydroDemolition as well.

The Brooklyn Bridge

Maybe the London Bridge wouldn’t go falling down all the time if it utilized HydroDemolition like The Brooklyn Bridge. The utilization of HydroDemolition in the rehabilitation of this iconic structure demonstrated its efficacy in preserving historical landmarks while ensuring their safety. To keep such a mammoth of a structure operational and safe, HydroDemolition has been used in efforts to preserve and repair sections of the bridge with success.

HydroDemolition stands as a transformative force in the realm of bridge repair, reshaping how we preserve and maintain these vital structures. Its precision, efficiency, and eco-friendly attributes have redefined the approach to infrastructure maintenance, promising safer, more durable bridges for generations to come.

 As industries continue to embrace innovative technologies like HydroDemolition, the future of bridge repair looks promising, heralding an era where preservation, precision, and sustainability converge to safeguard our critical transportation arteries. Aggregate Technologies will be at the front of this new era, with our HydroDemolition robots ready.To learn more about HydroDemolition and how it can help prevent you from burning your bridges, contact us today.

Contact us when you need a contractor with a record of safety and success for your concrete cutting and hydrodemolition needs.

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