Maine firm continues push into bridge and pier construction with two “firsts”

Harbor Technologies LLC reported on Feb. 8 that it has manufactured the world’s longest composite vehicular-bridge support beam.

Harbor Technologies LLC (Brunswick, Maine) reported on Feb. 8 that it has manufactured the world’s longest composite vehicular-bridge support beam. Harbor Technologies constructed the beam for the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Safe and Sound bridge replacement project. Safe and Sound, which started in 2009, aims to repair and replace 802 bridges in five years. To date, 672 bridge projects have been completed.

This particular beam design was created for one of three Harbor Technology bridge jobs, a single-span bridge replacement over Sons Creek on highway 97 in Dade County, Mo. Supporting the bridge deck are 105.6-ft long by 6-ft wide by 5-ft deep (32m by 1.8m by 1.5m) Hybrid Composite Beams (HCBs) that are, reportedly, the world’s longest beams currently in use on a vehicular bridge. Harbor Technologies has been manufacturing HCBs, invented by John Hillman, since the first prototype beam was tested early in 2009. During the past decade, HCBs in a variety of sizes have been installed in Texas, New Jersey, Maine and Illinois.

The company also was in the news for recent work done on a project for Maine’s Down East Institute (DEI, Beals Island, Maine), home to Maine’s first public shellfish hatchery and a resource for education and research. Harbor Technologies built the components for a new, environmentally sound, all-composite pier structure that can handle a 30,000-lb (13,640-kg) heavy-truck load. The 100-ft/31m long, 30-ft/9.2m wide structure comprises piles, pile caps, decks and floats.

Using the HCB beams, the pier only required three “bents,” or transverse support frames, on nine pilings to achieve the necessary load rating. The reduced weight of the composite components allowed the onsite contractor to use smaller, less costly leased equipment during the installation, which was accomplished in half the time required when traditional materials are used. The new structure is expected to last at least 100 years with minimal maintenance, despite exposure to the harsh marine environment. DEI’s documentation of the installation process can be viewed at

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