An intriguing innovation employed in the bridge construction is found in the concrete itself. Figg describes a wonder material called photo-catalytic titanium dioxide, which accelerates the decomposition of organic material. In other words, it eats pollution.
“The cement has a nanotechnology in it such that when UV light hits the surface of the concrete, it creates a photo-catalytic reaction that cleans pollution out of the air,” Figg said. “It is a pollution-eating kind of concrete and it is also self-cleaning.”
The new I-35W is the only bridge in the U.S. to employ the pollution-eating technology to date.
Concrete used on the I-35W is considered high-performance, containing silica fume and fly ash for low permeability and a longer life span.