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4/30/2018 | 1 MINUTE READ

Composite Advantage FRP sidewalk system used to replace aging pedestrian walkway

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The company’s FiberSPAN-C panels are reportedly 80% lighter than reinforced concrete panels, and because the cantilevered sidewalk is prefabricated, construction is quicker.


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Composite Advantage (Dayton, OH, US)  announced April 23 a fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) sidewalk system from the company was recently used to replace an aging pedestrian bridge walkway in Albany, NY, US. The pedway supports daily foot traffic of nearly 700 state employees and links agency offices with parking. Traditional concrete and lightweight concrete were considered but both options proved too heavy for the vehicle bridge.

An internet search led the State of New York Office of General Services (OGS) to Composite Advantage’s Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) FiberSPAN-C cantilever sidewalk system. The FRP composite pathway is the only product that provides pedestrian access without exceeding load capacity. FiberSPAN-C panels are reportedly 80% lighter than reinforced concrete panels. And because the cantilevered sidewalk is prefabricated, construction is quicker and installation costs lower. FRP’s corrosion resistance to chemicals and water means zero maintenance for a structure that will last nearly a century.

“The original structure had a concrete sidewalk 4" deep,” says Composite Advantage president Scott Reeve. “It took just six years for the sidewalk deck pans to rust and the concrete walkway to deteriorate beyond safe usage. The new FRP design expanded the sidewalk without reducing the rating of bridge members. When OGS approved the use of FRP, we were able to match the original sidewalk depth, yet modernize and expand the structure.”

Uniform live load was 75 psf with mid-span deflection limited to L/400. Wind uplift load was 30 psf. Dead plus live load bending strain was limited to 20% to ensure a strength safety factor greater than 5. Thirty-six prefabricated FRP panels were delivered to the work site. The FRP cantilever sidewalk was fastened to supporting longitudinal steel beams with connection clips bolted into steel plates embedded inside FRP panels. Installation took approximately four days.

The FiberSPAN-C walkway was 763 ft long and 64 ¼" wide. Deck thickness was 37/8" with 1/8". wear surface for a total thickness of 4". A non-slip polymer aggregrate overlay was applied by Composite Advantage’s factory to enhance pedestrian safety. The FRP sidewalk re-opened in November 2017.


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