Revolutionizing Road Repair: Hydrodemolition’s Dynamic Impact on Infrastructure

February 23, 2024

The infrastructure of the USA is slowly starting to crumble, with years of underfunding that has left a backlog of work for U.S. highways and bridges that exceeds $830 billion. Roads serve as the lifelines of modern society, enabling seamless travel and commerce. Yet, the constant wear and tear inflicted by weather and heavy traffic demand innovative solutions for maintenance and repair. Enter HydroDemolition—a groundbreaking technique that’s reshaping the landscape of road repair, promising enhanced durability and efficiency.

The Birth of HydroDemolition

HydroDemolition, leveraging high-pressure water jets, is redefining road repair and doing so much more quietly. Today’s innovative and efficient high-pressure pump designs on robotic demolition equipment often include a skid-mounted combination engine and a high-pressure pump contained within a shipping container that is built with advanced sound-absorbing cassettes.

HydroDemolition Structural Integrity

Precision in Action

The method involves directing high-velocity water streams onto damaged road surfaces, selectively removing pieces of substances and concrete without compromising the underlying structural integrity. This means that your rebar stays intact, as does the surrounding surfaces, creating outstanding precision for all jobs.

Selective Precision

 Unlike traditional methods like jackhammers, HydroDemolition precisely targets only the damaged sections, leaving the sound concrete intact, thereby reducing the risk of micro-cracking and structural damage. Not only that, but HydroDemolition is up to 25 times faster than a jackhammer, meaning that your job is completed more precisely and with speed. Before HydroDemolition, infrastructure jobs were completed with more hazard, more pollution, and less precision, all while being slower.

Longer-lasting repairs with HydroDemolition

The Impact on Road Repair:

1.      Quality and Longevity:

HydroDemolition’s precision creates a clean and roughened surface, enhancing adhesion between existing and repaired concrete. This superior bond ensures longer-lasting repairs, minimizing the need for frequent maintenance. In fact, those repaired with HydroDemolition last up to three times as long as traditional methods. This is revolutionizing the construction industry, solving our problems with infrastructure one repair at a time.

2.      Speed and Efficiency:

The efficiency of HydroDemolition significantly reduces repair times. This swift turnaround minimizes disruptions to traffic flow, ensuring smoother commuting experiences and economic benefits by cutting construction periods. This means that jobs are completed quickly, yet with great efficiency. Because HydroDemolition is faster than traditional methods, your jobs are completed faster, and without issues.

In an hour, one of our “hydro bot” models, using 15,000 – 40,000-psi water pressure, can remove as much as 25 cubic feet (.7 cubic meters). With the same range of pressure and higher water flow, the Aqua Cutter 710V can remove as much as 35 cubic feet (1 cubic meter) per hour.

3.      Environmental Consideration:

Compared to conventional methods, HydroDemolition produces minimal airborne silica dust and noise pollution, contributing to an eco-friendly approach to road maintenance. Not only that but almost half of the water we use in our HydroDemolition jobs can be recycled once it is treated to return it to a safe PH level.

HydroDemolition saves costs from 20% to 40% in road repair expenses

Economic and Societal Implications:

Hydrodemolition’s impact extends beyond the repair site. There are a great many benefits that go beyond the initial job site, making HydroDemolition the choice that echoes through multiple aspects of construction.


Studies reveal potential cost savings ranging from 20% to 40% in road repair expenses compared to traditional methods, offering substantial economic benefits to governments and communities. When you utilize HydroDemolition, you’re utilizing a technology that has the potential to revolutionize the way roadwork is completed. It’s cost-effective, it’s efficient, and most importantly it’s much safer.

Minimized Traffic Disruptions

Faster repair cycles reduce the time roads are closed for maintenance, minimizing inconvenience for commuters and businesses, and resulting in positive economic implications. The very nature of HydroDemoltion means that a limited, smaller crew is sent, and the work is completed faster. This means that there’s less congestion as the work is being completed, and the work is completed faster, reducing traffic disruptions greatly.

Faster repair cycles reduce the time roads are closed

Real-Life Success Stories

Several notable road repair projects have showcased HydroDemolition’s efficacy and the skills of the Aggregate Technologies team.

Houston Intercontinental Airport Runway Removal

A recent project for Aggregate Technologies involved sawing and removing thousands of square feet of runway concrete at the Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH). Security is paramount at such a sensitive job location. First, all workers must be fingerprinted and pass background checks, and special safety circumstances must be reviewed and maintained.

For this project, existing runway lighting needed to be replaced, so an initial 1,500-foot x 66-inch trench (kerf) was sawed at a depth of 20 inches and removed. Nearly 15,000 feet of heavily reinforced hard-rock concrete had to be cut at a depth of approximately 20 inches. Precise controls had to be maintained to avoid concrete spalling, flaking, or chipping of the surface that was to be preserved. This was achieved by making an additional interior cut, one foot inside the area to be removed. This technique protects the good edge as the interior slab is lifted out.

Once the concrete panels have been cut, they are removed using a lift-out machine. Some panels are cracked, which can require additional handling. The customer provided a 20-day window for completing the job. ATI finished cutting and removing the exceptionally strong runway slabs in only 15 days – while maintaining a perfect safety record. ATI is a reliable partner for large infrastructure projects – even in cases where technicians must adhere to strict security standards and background checks.

Bridge Deck HydroDemolition in The Gulf Coast

We were called in to remove the top 1″ to 3″ of concrete over a 16,000-square-foot area. Repairing our nation’s bridges is crucial to offering sustainable infrastructure solutions. HydroDemolition is the ideal process for this type of work. High-pressure water jets remove concrete but keep the rebar intact. By adjusting the pressure and angle of the hydrobot, operators can remove just the right amount of concrete.

Additionally, because the bridge supported a large water main, work had to be done in two mobilizations. Engineers wanted to ensure that the bridge structure was sound during concrete removal so that the water pipe would be supported. This type of job is another example of how Aggregate Technologies is the right partner for all your concrete removal needs.

HydroDemolition stands as a transformative force in the domain of road repair, offering a holistic solution that combines precision, efficiency, and environmental consciousness. Its ability to minimize disruptions, reduce costs, and enhance the longevity of road surfaces marks a significant advancement in infrastructure maintenance. Aggregate Technologies stands at the front of this, leading the way to a more sustainable future.

As the world embraces innovative technologies like HydroDemolition, the future of road repair appears promising—an era where infrastructure maintenance aligns seamlessly with sustainability, efficiency, and economic prudence, ensuring smoother journeys for generations to come.

If you’d like to learn more about how HydroDemolition is the sustainable choice for your road repair job, 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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