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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.
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