FiberSystems develops custom FRP composite bridge drainage pipe system

The FRP composite drainage pipe system was designed for the Lunda/Ames bridge in Hastings, Minn.

FiberSystems (Dayton, Ohio) constructed an FRP composite drainage pipe system for the Lunda/Ames bridge at 2nd Street and U.S. Highway 61 in Hastings, Minn. This job required the fabricator to design and build custom elbows, fittings, tooling and components.

Specifications called for 12-in.-ID FRP piping; two 8-in. elbows with non-standard angles of 18.4 degrees and 71.6 degrees:several 4-in., threaded clean-out ports, and fittings with unique configurations. Drainage systems are used to support rapid removal of water from a bridge deck to help reduce water damage and erosion of bridge approaches. Metal is subject to salt corrosion and thermal contraction and expansion.

“FRP composite bridge drainage systems are corrosion resistant and light weight for easy handling and quick installation,” says Tim Morton, vice president of operations for FiberSystems. “These unique angles and fitting configurations are not something that would be available from a commodity broker.”

FiberSystems filament wound 1,640 ft. of 12-in.-ID FRP pipe and 160 ft. of 8-in.-ID pipe using toughened CorBan resin and gray pigment. The piping, tailored elbows and fittings were shipped to the contractor and installed in late 2013. The bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River, features the longest free-standing arch rib in North America. To date, the composite drainage system is holding its own against the elements.