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Martin Marietta Composites Completes FRP Broadway Bridge Deck Installation

09 September 2004

Martin Marietta Composites, Inc., has installed its fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) DuraSpan composite bridge deck on the Broadway Bridge in Oregon, US.

The Broadway Bridge - one of the largest and most heavily travelled composite bridge decks in the world - carries heavy truck and automobile traffic averaging over 30,000 vehicles per day.

Originally constructed in the early 1900s, the historic bridge spans the Willamette River in the heart of Portland. The double-leaf bascule spans can be opened to allow large ships to pass through. With a total leaf span of 280 feet and a total area of 11,970 square feet, the Broadway Bridge is the seventh longest bascule bridge in the world.

Due to safety and maintenance issues, the worn steel grid deck on the bascule spans was replaced with the DuraSpan 500 FRP deck as a part of an overall $26.2 million rehabilitation project. A solid-surface, light weight deck that could be rapidly installed made DuraSpan the preferred decking material.

Grant Godwin, Vice President of Martin Marietta Composites, stated, “The Broadway Bridge represents a major leap for application of fibre reinforced composites due to its size, urban location and traffic volume. The project is an ideal application of our DuraSpan decks, considering this project’s demand for light weight and rapid installation”. The DuraSpan panels were installed in two shifts, minimizing the amount of time the bridge had to be closed to vehicular and river traffic. “The installation of Broadway Bridge is a milestone for Martin Marietta Composites, and we believe this bridge project demonstrates the many benefits of using our FRP bridge decks in large urban environments”, Godwin added.

Martin Marietta Composites’ DuraSpan bridge deck panels are fibre-reinforced polymer composite materials composed of continuous glass fibres and fabrics in a polymer matrix. Composite bridge decks are lightweight and highly resistant to corrosion yet have the strength and ability to carry high loads.

The Broadway Bridge installation marks the twenty-seventh installation of a Martin Marietta Composites bridge deck in the United States and abroad and is its largest project to date. Other installations of composite decks include California, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington and West Virginia.





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