Historic Ohio bridge upgraded with composite decking

Historic, dilapidated bridge in Indian Lake, Ohio, USA, gets a new lease on life thanks to a new composite bridge deck manufactured by Composites Advantage.

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During the Roaring Twenties, Sandy Beach Bridge connected the two sides of the Sandy Beach Amusement Park, supporting heavy pedestrian traffic. The Indian Lake, Ohio, USA, pedestrian bridge, once part of Ohio’s Million Dollar Playground, fell into disrepair along with the park in the 1960s. The property was purchased in 1981 for development, but the cost required to restore the bridge, update building codes and insurance proved prohibitive. Earlier this year, a committee for the Indian Lake Area Historical Society found a low-maintenance, non-skid solution with Composite Advantage’s (Dayton, Ohio, USA) FiberSPAN fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) bridge deck product.

The new FiberSPAN bridge deck features deck panels 11.83 ft/3.6m wide in lengths varying from 7 ft to 14.5 ft. (2.1m to 4.4m). Deck depth was constructed at 7.5 inches/191 mm to meet a deflection requirement of L/400 for the longest floor beam span. Adhesively bonded ship lap joints were used to accommodate the high camber of the bridge along with a sliding expansion panel at the bridge’s peak. Steel plate was embedded into the bridge deck to accommodate railing post attachments. Stainless steel cable railing was installed and an aluminum handrail hung from the bridge’s top chord beams. A small-grit, non-slip wear surface makes the bridge deck both safe and barefoot friendly.

“The original renovation design called for galvanized steel flooring with a non-skid surface,” says Andy Loff, vice-president for Composite Advantage. “We worked closely with the society to provide a bridge deck that met their requirements at a cost comparable to steel sheeting.”

The restoration project complements a new water recreation area and meets a live load requirement of 100 psf. The new bridge was reopened to the public on Aug. 23, 2014.