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FRP Decks for Movable Vehicle Bridges

Posted by Scott Reeve on December 11, 2019

Over the past 15 years, Composite Advantage has manufactured fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) decking for bridges of all kinds. From simple footbridges in National Parks to multi-lane vehicle bridges in major metropolitan areas, if a bridge has an FRP deck, there is a good chance Composite Advantage made it. Our bridges can be found throughout the United States and Canada. We are proud to have led the way in turning FRP decking from a revolutionary new technology to a reliable product with a proven track record.

FRP is as strong as steel and much lighter than concrete, which makes it especially well-suited for movable vehicle bridges such as drawbridges, bascule bridges, swing bridges, and lift bridges.

Benefits of FRP Decking for Movable Bridges

There are many good reasons to choose Composite Advantage's FRP decking for your movable bridge project.

  • Long life. The expected lifespan of FRP decks runs from 75–100 years.
  • Lightweight materials. FRP laminates are extremely strong, yet they are 80% lighter than concrete and 75% lighter than steel.
  • Quick, easy installation. Prefabricated FRP decking is much easier to install than steel or concrete decking. Installation also takes much less time.
  • Reduced strain on other systems. A lighter bridge needs smaller, less expensive mechanical systems and counterweights than a heavier metal and concrete structure.
  • Corrosion resistance. The strong, solid surface of FRP decking protects bridges from water and chemical damage.
  • Low maintenance. FRP decks require less maintenance than other decks since they don’t typically experience the negative impacts of corrosion caused by environmental factors.
  • Flexibility. FRP decking is easily custom fabricated to specific sizes, shapes, and other application requirements.
  • Functional features. Functional features such as curbs, drainage systems, railing attachments, and anti-skid overlays are molded right into the decking.
  • High safety ratings. FRP is strong enough to handle even the heaviest truck loads.
  • Local materials. Composite Advantage only builds with domestically sourced materials.

FRP Market Fit

Fiber-reinforced polymers do have a higher up-front manufacturing cost than other construction materials. However, this initial cost is offset by subsequent short-term and long-term savings. Over the short term, installing prefabricated FRP decking is lower cost than installing other types of decking, because installation is faster and also because design features are already set in place. Over the long term, FRP decking requires significantly less maintenance and features a long service life of up to 100 years, depending on the use case.

FRP decking is a good market fit for movable bridges, historic steel trusses, steel grate replacements, and anything else that requires lightweight building materials.

FRP Decks From Composite Advantage

Repairing old infrastructure and meeting future transportation needs calls for advanced bridge-building techniques and materials. Composite Advantage is committed to meeting those needs with innovative, high-performing, cost-effective designs. Our durable FiberSpan-V bridge decking is light enough for movable bridges, yet strong enough to handle nearly any vehicle or level of traffic.

When you work with us, you won't just get a simple bridge covering. You will get a prefabricated bridge system complete with functional features such as curbs, crowns, drains, and overlays.

FiberSPAN's quick and easy installation process minimizes traffic delays during the construction and installation phase. Its corrosion resistance and minimal maintenance make it much more cost-effective than steel or concrete. With an expected lifespan of up to a century, FiberSPAN-V is the right decking material not just for today—but for the future as well.

Whether you are rehabilitating an old bridge or building a new one, Composite Advantage is ready to help. Request a quote today to get started. We look forward to hearing from you.

Topics: FiberSPAN, vehicle bridges, Fiber-Reinforced Polymer, FRP

Scott Reeve

AboutScott Reeve

Scott is the Director of Marketing for Creative Composites Group. For over 35 years, he has developed new applications using FRP composites; especially in the infrastructure sector. In 2005, he founded Composite Advantage, which is now part of CCG.

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