All along the beach in Newport, RI there is evidence of what happens when steel is used to reinforce concrete. Good for a short time and then the galvanic reactions occur. Spalling as it is called, pops large chunks of concrete apart. Especially near salt water, corrosion of steel and Portland cement is obvious and visible everywhere.
Solutions are available today.
Better concretes and additives. Volcanic rock fiber reinforcement basalt rebars, basalt meshes and basalt chopped fibers. These are materials which will never corrode and help prevent cracking of the cement from the start. Once water gets in (and freezes) it is the beginning of the end.
Extensive (and expensive) repairs can be prevented by building with the correct materials from the start. In this case, using basalt rebar instead of steel rebar, the concrete wall would have a much longer lifespan, saving money, materials, time and labor. Plus, avoiding a potentially dangerous situation in a heavily trafficked public location.
We ask that our Departments of Transportation understand how the long term benefits of using basalt reinforcements justify the initial cost of using the right materials.