With the 2016 NFL season in full swing, we’re all rooting for our team to get the first down. The ability to take possession of the ball is crucial to scoring a touchdown and having a chance at winning the game. This year, after running for yardage multiple times, we scored a touchdown. For the first time, Composite Advantage will be presenting at the 2016 Ohio Transportation Engineering Conference (OTEC). The two-day event, today and tomorrow (October 25 and 26), at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, marks the 70th annual meeting of this statewide conference, sponsored by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).
Nearly 4000 people from across the country are expected to attend. They represent contractors, industry professionals, government representatives, consultants, ODOT employees, students and university personnel. In addition to staffing our exhibit booth [# 701], I’ll present Lightweight Cantilever Sidewalks Using Prefabricated FRP Structures on Wednesday, October 26 at 3:15 p.m.
As pedestrian and bicycle traffic on roads continues to grow, it’s increasingly important to find a way for people to share these spaces with vehicles. A lightweight cantilever sidewalk offers an attractive, cost efficient option. Conventional approaches to provide sidewalk widths of 10 to 15 feet can mean a significant combination of live and dead load. FRP structures provide a lightweight, high-strength option.
FRP composite material is a natural component that supports the overall theme and mission of OTEC and ODOT. For nearly 70 years, OTEC has been at the heart of innovation as the driving force behind developing and maintaining Ohio’s roads. ODOT, established in 1905, is the architect behind the highways, passenger and freight rail systems, bikeways, airports, waterways and port facilities in Ohio. Teaming with local and federal governments, ODOT maintains more than 130,000 miles of roadway. The agency is also tasked with planning, designing and building new transportation systems to promote growth.
A unique example of how ODOT fosters the natural environment we Buckeyes enjoy - whether walking, hiking or bicycling - was this fall’s plea to the public to help create habitats for the declining monarch butterfly population. ODOT asks that citizens collect milkweed seed pods through October 30, 2016 and drop them at collection stations throughout the state. Asclepias syriaca, also known as common milkweed, is critical to the survival of monarch butterflies in our state. According to biologists of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “Ohio is a priority area for monarchs. Fourth generation monarchs hatch in late summer, migrate north to Canada then return to Ohio before migrating to Mexico for the winter.”
ODOT is one of the largest landholders in Ohio with more than 19,000 miles of right of way. As the agency looks to beautify the highways with native plants and insects like the butterfly, FRP - a sustainable, green technology - is right at home. Come see us this week at the conference!