Composite Advantage's prefab FRP bridge provides quick install

Six hours is all it took remove an old wooden pedestrian bridge in Daniel Boone National Forest and install a new FiberSPAN bridge from Composite Advantage.

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Daniel Boone National Forest sprawls across 21 counties in southern and eastern Kentucky. Tucked inside the Cumberland Plateau, the world's longest expanse of hardwood-forested plateau, Daniel Boone is one of the most heavily used forests in the South; totaling more than 708,000 acres and attracting more than 5 million visitors a year.

When the aging, wood bridge structure at Cumberland District, Morehead Office Visitors Center caught the attention of the U.S. Forest Service, the agency looked for bridge technology that could deliver a fast turnaround and minimal downtime. It found a solution in Composite Advantage's (Dayton, Ohio, USA) FiberSPAN prefabricated bridge technology, made with fiber-reinforced polymers.

“When the Forest Service identified this bridge for replacement, we considered several bridge suppliers but they didn’t offer value adds like quick installation,” says Kevin Haggard, project manager for K. Hayes Ltd. “This bridge sees a lot of pedestrian traffic because it connects the parking lot to the Visitors Center. Minimal disruption for park visitors was critical. Composite Advantage met that requirement with their prefabricated FRP bridge. They also removed the old structure making the whole project quick, with very little down time.”

The new 30-ft long, 6-ft wide, 16-inches deep (9.1m by 1.8m by 406 mm) FiberSPAN bridge, which fords a stream, was opened to the public in June 2014. Installation, including removal of the old bridge, took only six hours. Composite Advantage manufactured the bridge with a custom color to blend with its natural surroundings. “They wanted a very specific color,” says Scott Reeve, president of Composite Advantage. “The color had to be Bahama Brown. We were able to meet that requirement.”

Composite Advantage is a manufacturer of very large FRP composite parts, up to 52 ft/15.8m, for structurally demanding applications and corrosive environments. Its core products — zero maintenance bridges and bridge decks — are complemented by other product lines, including vehicle bridge decks to handle fully loaded 90,000-lb/40,823-kg truck-trailers, temporary road mats for energy exploration, and waterfront infrastructure for U.S. Navy bases.