New bridge deck in Ohio made with fiber-reinforced polymer

Composite Advantage won the bid to replace the structure with its FiberSPAN bridge deck system.

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Rotting timbers and corroding steel forced the National Park Service to close the Hillside Pedestrian Bridge in Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The Federal Highway Administration specified that fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) material be used in the new deck. Composite Advantage (Dayton, OH, US) won the bid to replace the structure with its FiberSPAN bridge deck system.

Weathering steel, a new surface wear product and different color choices were some of the features that attracted the National Park Service to its FRP product says Composite Advantage President Scott Reeve. “We worked with the Federal Highway Administration in 2013 on the installation of a FiberSPAN bridge deck for a 3-span steel superstructure at Wolf Creek National Park near Vienna, Virginia,” he says. “Their experience with the product on that job influenced their decision to include FRP in the design for the Hillside Pedestrian Bridge project.”

The FiberSPAN bridge deck with attached curbs was installed in March 2016 on a new substructure comprised of weathering steel stringers. Ten FRP panels were attached with stainless steel connection clips. With a live load rating of 90 psf and a maintenance vehicle loading of H-5, the large prefabricated panels eliminated the man-hours typically associated with assembly of multiple smaller components and tasks such as pouring concrete.

To address the corrosion issues previously associated with Hillside’s steel superstructure, high elongation sealant was applied to panel-to-panel joints. Drainage scuppers were also added to select deck panels. The color teak was chosen for deck and wear surface to match the color of the weathering steel and make rust stains from the steel less noticeable over time.