Chemicals in deicing agents can take a toll on Colorado’s bridges. These materials work their way inside the concrete and attack the rebar which degrades the entire structure. Crews working on the 48th Avenue Viaduct installed anodes which are designed to be sacrificial and increase the longevity of the rebar and prevent premature corrosion by targeting the corrosive materials through chemical reactions.
Typically comprised of a zinc alloy, the anodes are anchored to the rebar using steel ties. The zinc attracts the corrosive chloride material from the deicers and degrades as opposed to the rebar in the concrete. Installing anodes extends longevity of the concrete and bridge as long as 25 years. Crews then patched the concrete with a special polymer-blended concrete which prevents shrinkage and cracking in the deck that could turn into potholes.