Composites Advantage Installs Fibre-Reinforced Polymer Bridge Desk in Washington D.C., US

03 September 2013

Composite Advantage has provided Georgetown, Washington D.C, US, with the area’s first fibre-reinforced vehicle bridge deck, which crosses the original Chesapeake and Ohio canal.

The company explains that crumbling reinforced concrete and exposed, rusting steel rebar coupled with a requirement to reduce dead-load on old stone canal walls demanded a lighter weight bridge deck solution. The project also had to be completed in half the time normally reserved for bridge deck replacement work due to logistics challenges associated with utility lines that ran beneath the bridge and crossed over gas, waterand telecommunications lines.  Five lightweight, corrosion resistant FiberSPAN bridge deck panels were installed in just one day on a steel beam superstructure. It took only one more day to bolt the panels to shear studs welded to steel beams and add a fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) pavement.

“The Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) and its consulting engineer evaluated several design options,” says Scott Reeve, President of Composite Advantage. “This configuration was chosen because bridge depth was very restricted. The bridge had to clear tour boats using the canal but match the existing street level. Using longitudinal steel beams for high bending stiffness, we designed the FiberSPAN deck within an allowable depth of five inches and tested it to demonstrate its ability to support required truck loads.”

The new FRP short span bridge, 39 feet long by 32 feet wide, has a fibreglass reinforced sidewalk panel bonded across its west side. Granite curbs are attached on the deck’s edges. The bridge deck has an asphalt wear surface while pavers added to the sidewalk match its surface to adjacent walkways.  The bridge helps support the canal’s older stone walls and maintain their vertical position. The FRP sidewalk is a new feature Composite Advantage made available to designers.

Photo provided by Composite Advantage.

Share this story

Related / You might like...

Austrak, Laing O’Rourke and USQ Partner on Composite Rail Technology

Australian organisations Austrak, Laing O’Rourke and the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) have joined forces to develop polymer composite solutions for bridge transoms in a $10 million project titled Polymer Composite Transoms for Rail Bridge Deck Replacement (CompTrans).

ACMA Presses Congress to Advance Defence and Transportation Issues

The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) led a Transportation and Defence Fly-In, 25-26 September 2018, during which ACMA members and staff met with more than 75 congressional offices and several key decision makers from federal agencies.

EPTA Highlights Opportunities for Composites in Rail

As the rail sector looks to new technologies to enable it to answer sustainability, performance and cost challenges, applications for pultruded composites are set to grow, according to a new report from the European Pultrusion Technology Association (EPTA). Lightweight, high performance, durable composites offer energy efficient solutions with lower environmental impact and reduced through-life costs in rolling stock and rail infrastructure.