Page 8 - NovDec2021 Vol39No5
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Bridges from page 7
         partner in the project, calling
         the collaboration a prime
         opportunity “to showcase
         FRP composite bridges as
         a great product, and be at
         the forefront of cutting-
         edge technology and its
           The four private
         corporations — Structural
         Composites Inc. in
         Melbourne, Fla., CAG, Luna
         Innovations and McKinney
         Excavating, committed
         to designing, fabricating,                                                 Advantages of
         shipping, installing and
         monitoring the 16-by-25-                                                   Prefabricated
         foot bridge deck, all at no cost to Morgan   bridge deck technology can provide rural
         County. Structural Composites designed   communities with a low-cost, lightweight   Composite Bridge
         the bridge and fabricated the deck at its   bridge structure that requires less   Decks
         Florida facility with support from the   equipment, making a shorter period for
         federal Paycheck Protection Program   on-site preparation and a vastly shorter   Small rural bridges represent a
         (PPP), under the CARES Act.         period for on-site installation.”      significant but often overlooked
           In addition to Structural Composites   A shorter installation time is especially   segment of the nation’s
         and its key partners, several other private   critical in single-access locations, which   underserved infrastructure.
         companies contributed expertise and   are more common in rural areas than   Many rural counties may not
         materials such as adhesives, epoxies,   urban. In Morgan County, because the   be aware of the existence of
         coatings and resins, preforms and   two completed bridge sections were so   prefabricated composite bridge
         reinforcements to the project. They   lightweight, they easily were transported   decks, which have advantages
         include Interplastic Corporation,   to the construction site and installed in
         Engineered Bonding Solutions LLC,   one day using a forklift.              such as:
         AcraLock Engineered Solutions, Steffen   The deck panels were fabricated using   Reduced costs, since
         Structural Engineering, West System,   a hand layup process. Abutments were   lightweight modular
         Superior Fiberglass, METYX Composites   made from concrete using standard   construction involves:
         and Compsys, Inc.                   fabrication methods. Steel beams were   • Rapid installation
         More Than 150,000 U.S. Bridges Need   attached to the abutments using standard   • Minimal impact to the
                                             methods. The FRP decks are bonded and
         Replacing                           bolted onto the steel beams.             surrounding environment
           Scott Lewit, Structural Composites   For rural counties struggling with
         President, said more than 150,000 bridges   tight budgets, faster completion can   • Fewer traffic delays
         in the U.S., many located in rural parts of   mean significant savings in time and   • Lessened impact on local
         the country, are in need of replacement.   money. Miller said he originally wasn’t   communities
         According to the American Society of   sure if the project was right for his
         Civil Engineers, around 8 percent of the   needs, “but they made a believer out of   Improved bridge life span due
         more than 617,000 bridges across America   me. Everyone is looking at better, faster,   to:
         are structurally deficient and in need of   easier ways of bridge repair, and naturally   • Low maintenance features
         repair.                             I was skeptical but curious when I was
           Lewit said that while his company is   approached about the opportunity. This   • Corrosion resistant
         producing the bridge deck, or surface, at   composite bridge has already made a   components
         its plant in Florida, the long-term vision   positive impact on Morgan County.”  • Capability to last up to
         is to deploy the technology across the U.S.   And in the future? “Well, we’re looking   100 years
         industrial base of composite fabricators.   at doing more of them,” he said. “We
           “It moves infrastructure construction   have numerous bridges within the county   Composite bridges can be
         from the field into the factory, allowing   and hundreds across the state that are in   designed to meet highway and
         for prefabrication in a controlled   need of repair and could benefit from this   transportation performance
         environment and very rapid field    technology.”                           and safety standards, scalable
         installation that minimizes installation   “We’ll be picking the next ‘right   to larger bridge sizes and
         traffic impacts,” he said. “Composites   candidate’ shortly,” Miller said.  structural requirements.

         8     TPW November/December 2021
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