Design Considerations and Innovative Approach for Restoration of Historic Landmarks in Old Montreal


Restoration of some streets in Old Montreal is achieved using granite pavers bonded with a mortar bed to a concrete slab. The technique was originally used for the pavement of St-Paul Street with stone bricks back in the 1800's. A similar approach is being used in 2016 to renovate the very same street, except for the materials used in casting the foundation slab. In order to space out the expansion joints and prevent drying shrinkage cracking, fibre reinforcement and an expansive component are incorporated in the concrete. The concept was successfully used in bridge deck rehabilitation projects such as Girouard Overpass deck overlay. The basic principle of this approach is to generate a chemical expansion in the concrete (200 to 300 gm/m) using an expansive component, and to restrain the generated expansion through the combined action of ordinary peripheral steel reinforcement in the slab and steel fibre reinforcement in the concrete. The objective is to mitigate shrinkage stresses by keeping the strain balance as low as possible and allowing the concrete additional time to develop sufficient tensile strength, such that the stresses induced in the concrete slabs will remain lower than the concrete tensile strength.Restraint of expansion by the steel fibres and the peripheral reinforcement induces an initial compressive stress in the concrete slab. A part of this stress is used to compensate for the drying shrinkage, whereas the remaining part (if any) is used to resist incidental restrained deformation (e.g. thermal strains) cracking. Concrete mixture proportioning, placement, and curing need to be optimized in order to achieve enough expansion to adequately control cracking due to restrained shrinkage. After proper moist curing of the slab, the pavers are bonded to its top surface using a latex-modified mortar (latex to cement ratio of about 11% by mass). The latex-modified mortar used as a levelling bed underneath the pavers has a low vapour permeability that partially seals the concrete surface and further contributes to minimize drying shrinkage cracking. Since 2011, various historic landmarks in the City of Montreal have been restored using concrete containing an expansive component. To this date, monitoring and performance reports have showed that the chemical prestress approach is quite effective in decreasing shrinkage cracking in paved street foundations, thereby allowing the placement of longer slabs with significantly fewer expansion joints

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oaioai:edpsciences.org:dkey/10.1051/matecconf/201819907003Last time updated on 4/10/2020

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