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FiberSPAN Decking Used in Rails-To-Trails Project to Renovate Abandoned Trestle Bridge

27 January 2015

FiberSPAN Decking Used in Rails-To-Trails Project to Renovate Abandoned Trestle Bridge

Composite Advantage’s FiberSPAN Fibre Reinforced Polymer bridge deck product has been used to repurpose an abandoned trestle bridge in Pennsylvania, US.

According to Composites Advantage, (CA) the bridge is a key component of a 4-mile span of public trail connecting Hopewell and Tatesville, US counties that intersect with two public parks. The project is part of the Rails-To-Trail Conservancy effort to revive unused rail corridors nationwide to support a growing network of recreational trails.

Design requirements dictated support on just two girders spaced at 10 ft. along with a 5-in. bridge deck depth needed to meet deflection criteria. CA technicians moulded an additional 2 inch step to the bottom of the deck at each girder location.

“Unlike conventional bridge decks, old structures like the H&BT trestle bridge use girder flanges with rivet heads on top,” says Scott Reeve, President of CA. “To properly seat the FRP deck we moulded a spacer into the structure to ensure the deck would clear the rivet heads. The design flexibility of FiberSPAN allows us to effectively tackle these types of engineering challenges.”

CA explains that a Broad Top Township construction crew bolted down the FRP deck panels to threaded shear studs welded to the tops of the girders. CA provided a flat seating surface for a seamless, integrated fit inside the rivets along the structure’s girders. Fifteen FRP deck panels took just three days to install.  CA integrally moulded steel box tubing inside its FRP sandwich panels to provide a high-strength load path and support railing posts.

The H&BT trestle bridge and trail segment opened to the public in November 2014. The 350 ft. long, 13 ft. wide structure spans a gorge providing safe access to the region’s natural attractions.

Photo provided by Composite Advantage.






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