Project Title

Fiber-Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Wraps for Next Generation Sustainable and Cost-Effective Rehabilitation of Coastal Transportation Infrastructure in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Collaborating Universities

Marshall University
One John Marshall Drive
Huntington, WV 25755

University of Virginia
351 McCormick Dr.
P.O. Box 400742
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4742

Principal Investigator(s)

Wael Zatar (MU)

Hai Nguyen (MU)

Osman Ozbulut (UVa)

Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization)

Marshall University
USDOT: $98,870 (federal)
Marshall DOT: $98,870 (Match)

University of Virginia
USDOT: $60,130 Federal)
UVA DOT: $60,130 (Match)

Total Project Costs

$159,000 (Federal) / $159,000 (Match)

Start Date


Completion Date



A major impediment for the implementation of FRP in transportation infrastructure is the lack of effective references for training and technology transfer in practice, because the information is usually disparate, often confusing, and even contradictory. Therefore, this project offers the opportunity for developing a concise yet complete reference report that can serve as a “practical” educational tool, and facilitate the evaluation and implementation of externally bonded FRP repair by State DOT personnel. An extensive review of FRP retrofit literature for highway structures will be performed. An evaluation of FRP-retrofitted projects in West Virginia will be completed. Bridge location, purpose of the FRP wrap, retrofit details and cost, cost/benefit studies, percentages of added capacities and targeted versus actual time frames for the FRP retrofit will be documented. Other advantages and disadvantages will be presented. NDT/NDE practices for inspecting FRP external wraps shall be developed. Of a major importance is to evaluate the acceptance levels of FRP-retrofitted projects by DOTs and FHWA. The outcomes of the completed research to evaluate the remaining service life of corrosion-deteriorated concrete bridge members based on the existing chloride content will be heavily utilized. The research team will work closely with WVDOH and VDOT members managing the databases, inventory, inspection reports, digital pictures, load ratings, load postings, remaining strength, etc. Criteria will be proposed to determine the suitability for FRP retrofit of types of structures, based on assessments for damage and inventory parameters. We will propose a prioritized classification process into three levels for possible candidate structures. WVDOT and VDOT candidate structures will be evaluated against these criteria. Existing reports and national guidelines/ specifications will be reviewed. The review will cover all the aspects of FRP research pertaining to repairing, reinforcing, or strengthening by external wrap and near-surface mounting. VDOT and WVDOH structural programs will be examined to check how they could account for FRP strengthening.


The deliverables shall result in direct implementation, fast return of investment and immediate payoff of the study expenses. It shall result in significant structural safety improvements and longevity of both West Virginia and Virginia bridges. Properly focused and executed, this project offers tremendous potential for benefiting not only Virginia and West Virginia, but also the Mid-Atlantic region, the United States and the world, by contributing a synthesis of knowledge from proper interpretation of basic information, to development of sound guidelines for economical technology application, to selection procedures for “suitable” candidate bridges, to recommendations for field implementation and evaluation of the technology, leading to development of design and construction guidelines and training of engineers and contractors. The research team will work with the WVDOT and VDOT bridge evaluation engineers to incorporate the procedures into the bridge inspection and maintenance programs. A final report will be compiled and the research team will produce publications and presentations in the TRB Annual Meeting and Annual International Bridge Conferences, work with MATS, TRB and ASCE to develop webinars on the use of the technology and the associated benefits and limitations, and on the deliverables of the project. Furthermore, the associated technologies and deliverables will be integrated into the classroom education. The WVDOH and VDOT would rank among few states in the nation for implementing appropriate and justifiable requirements for optimum use of FRP wraps for deteriorated coastal infrastructure.


The project deliverables shall present effective and ready-to-use tools to extend the service life and reduce the life-cycle cost of deficient concrete bridges in both West Virginia and Virginia. Sustainability benefits and cost associated with FRP retrofitting of deficient and deteriorated members resulting from both de-icing salt and from humidity/environmental conditions associated with coastal infrastructure in the Mid-Atlantic region will be examined.

Web Links to Reports and to the Project website