I didn’t realize that concrete in bridges is reinforced with corrosion resistant rebar

I used to hate going over bridges because I witnessed the destruction of the original Sunshine Skyway Bridge on television back in 1980 when I was just four years old.

  • I told my parents that we would die if we drove over a bridge again and then the fear became cemented in my mind.

While I’m not nearly as fearful as I once was when crossing a bridge in a car, I still get a raised heart rate and instant anxiety whenever the situation presents itself. Thankfully I got out of that area a few years ago because it was a terrifying experience having to drive over the new version of that bridge. It’s a behemoth if you’ve never seen it or driven over it before. I had a friend who commuted to work over that bridge every single day. I always wondered how large cable stay bridges are able to withstand being in water 24 hours a day, especially the salty sea water. For whatever reason, I just assumed that the water would eventually soak into the concrete. While I eventually learned that all of this concrete is reinforced with steel rebar tie wire, that didn’t help me understand the corrosion aspect. Then I studied the subject more and learned about corrosion resistant steel rebar tie wire. Two common examples are stainless steel rebar and galvanized rebar. Some construction companies even use epoxy and plastic coated rebar in some cases. Of course the cost of these advanced forms of steel rebar are much more expensive than basic black bar steel rebar tie wire which is often used in homes and businesses that aren’t subjected to constant moisture.

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