Russian Journal of Transport Engineering
Russian journal of transport engineering

2016, Vol. 3, No. 1. - go to content...

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DOI: 10.15862/04TS116 (

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Ovchinnikov I.I., Ovchinnikov I.G., Rasporov O.N., Rasporov K.O. [What lessons can be learned from the fifty-year-long operational experience of the prestressed concrete bridge Saratov — Engels?] Russian Journal of Transport Engineering, 2016, Vol. 3, No. 1. Available at: (in Russian). DOI: 10.15862/04TS116

What lessons can be learned from the fifty-year-long operational experience of the prestressed concrete bridge Saratov — Engels?

Ovchinnikov Ilya Igorevich
Yuri Gagarin State Technical University of Saratov, Russia, Saratov
Moscow state automobile & Road technical university
Sochi branch, Russia, Sochi

Ovchinnikov Igor Georgievich
Penza State University of Architecture and Construction, Russia, Penza
Yuri Gagarin State Technical University of Saratov, Russia, Saratov
Perm national research polytechnic university, Russia, Perm

Rasporov Oleg Nikolaevich
Russian Transport Academy, Russia, Saratov

Rasporov Kirill Olegovich
Russian Transport Academy, Russia, Saratov

Abstract. This article describes analysis of lessons that can be learned by studying the operational experience of pre-stressed concrete bridge Saratov — Engels. This bridge was put into operation in 1965, and for more than 50 years it continues to provide intercity communication Saratov — Engels. This bridge is unique for several reasons. During its construction the prestressed concrete, which at that time was considered as a very nearly «eternal» material, was used. But the reality made their amendments: virtually all bridges, being of the same age of the Saratov-Engels bridge, built of reinforced concrete, for one reason or another were either disable or rebuilt. Moreover, the operational experience of the bridge, that worked 50 years under the conditions, when the meager funds were assigned for its support, is unique and therefore it is useful to analyze this experience. At the beginning of this article the authors give a brief description of bridgework itself and present the characteristics of its elements. Then they consider the work of expansion joints of the old design, which does not hold water, and show the consequences of a failure of joints tightness. Afterwards the authors examine the state of reinforced concrete structures, constantly soaked with water from a motor transport crossing a bridge. The conclusion about the necessity of protecting concrete structures from corrosion by the use of paint materials has be drawn. Much attention is paid to the state of the road pavement on the bridge, and the causes that in the absence of proper care allowed the bridge to maintain its working efficiency are shown. At the end of the article its authors briefly describe the measures taken to ensure survivability of bridge, in particular the carried out replacement of expansion joints and road pavement. In conclusion, it is noted that the assumed measures have not changed the state of supporting structures of bridge, and therefore its cargo-carrying capacity has not changed, and to ensure safe operation it is necessary to organize the monitoring of its state.

Keywords: extracurricular bridges; Saratov — Engels bridge; monitoring; expansion joints; road pavement; bridge repair; bridge capacity; useful life; corrosion; anticorrosion protection

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