BASF resources

Deck on Cooper River Bridge in for the Long Haul

The Cooper River Bridge in Charleston, S.C. is the longest cable stay bridge in North America. Design engineers needed to create a road that could flex as needed, hold up to heavy traffic loads, and deliver many years of trouble free service.


BASF worked with Latex Systems, Inc., the Latex distributor, and Cleco Corporation, the bridge deck overlay contractor, to create a recipe for the latex modified concrete that provides flexural strength and durability, keeps the roadway structure strong for many years, and gives the bridge authority a trouble free road surface for many years.


"The latex-modified concrete bridge deck overlay used on all of the cable supported deck sections of the bridge provides significant benefits," said J.W. Harman, President, Cleco Corporation of Rosedale, Va. "Since the deck panels were precast and then lifted into place, some dimensional variances in the road surface needed to be addressed. The beauty of the latex-modified concrete overlay is that it compensates for those dimensional variances. More importantly, it adds a great deal of extra strength and flexibility to the road surface that keeps it in good condition for a long time, and helps the bridge deck to last much longer."


"STYROFAN® 1186 helps to create a strong, yet flexible bridge deck surface that will last for up to 20 years," said John J. Sweeney of Latex Systems, Inc, distributor for STYROFAN® 1186 in North America. "The latex reduces water requirements and creates a concrete with higher flexural strength with tremendous adhesion. The latex forms elastic membranes throughout the matrix of concrete that lessens the formation of voids and cracks during the curing stage, improves the compressive strength, and increases abrasion resistance. STYROFAN®1186 also helps the overlay to resist penetration of oil, water and salt, thereby protecting against erosion. This is especially important where road salt and freeze-thaw cycles create extensive damage each year to concrete bridge decking.



  • Creates a concrete with higher flexural strength with tremendous adhesion.
  • Lessens formation of voids and cracks during the curing stage.
  • Improves the compressive strength.
  • Increases abrasion resistance.
  • Protects overlay against erosion by helping it resist penetration of oil, water and salt.
  • Helps reduce freeze-thaw damage.