As one year comes to a close to make room for a brand new one, it's human nature to stop and take a moment to review. Let's dive in.
In early 2016, the Federal Highway Administration announced an industry review of FRP composite bridges built between 1998 and 2004 under the Innovative Bridge Research and Construction program. The Transportation Research Board (a program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine) and other stakeholders are evaluating performance and comparing the FRP composite bridges to those built with traditional materials and technologies. As the study unfolds, there's already enough data to confirm an increase in FRP infrastructure applications. This is no surprise as technology evolves and costs come down. And with the prospect of a major transportation bill on the horizon, the potential for FRP just got a whole lot bigger.
Our reach has grown too. This year we installed new FRP slipwalls for St. Johns River Ferry in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jacksonville Transportation Authority needed a low maintenance fender slipwall system that could provide higher energy absorption and corrosion resistance with low maintenance. Composite Advantage's FiberPILES gave them a product designed to work under the “bend, don’t break" principle. Ferry captains and passengers are happy with the results.
Ferry terminal slipwalls in Jacksonville, FL.
Cantilever sidewalks also took off this year, thanks to the growing popularity of pedestrian and bicycle lanes. Lightweight FRP makes these wider pathways possible while in many cases, heavier bulkier concrete does not. Owners and engineers are realizing this and turning to FRP systems for shared-use spaces.
Cantilever sidewalk on Wilson-Burt Bridge
In addition to taking on concrete, Composite Advantage is doing more work outside the USA. FRP won a competitive bid over fiberglass wood decking for Minto Bridges East and Center – historic spans in Canada. We worked with neighbors FiberSystems on FRP pipe sleeves for waterfront piers in New Zealand. We also supplied an FRP pedestrian bridge deck in Trail, British Columbia.
Working on Minto East bridge deck
During our travels, we've spent time admiring the work of others, including the Bixby Creek Bridge in California’s Big Sur. The 90-mile stretch of coastline is chock full of breathtaking bluffs, sea views and broad expanses of sky. The Bixby Bridge is one of the most photographed bridges in California, with locals referring to it as Big Sur’s Golden Gate Bridge. If you don’t have the opportunity to travel, keep up with our blog - we plan to take you to some of the world’s most fascinating bridges in 2017.
Bixby Creek Bridge
It's been a good year for FRP and 2017 promises to be even better. We’ll have a number of interesting bridge projects to report on along with more waterfront jobs. We’ll continue to explore new applications and push forward with pedestrian bridges and bridge decks, cantilever sidewalks and trail bridges. To this end, we launched a new website in 2016 to better support digital communication and collaboration in 2017 and beyond.
Thanks for following us this year. We look forward to continuing the journey with you in 2017. We wish you a wonderful holiday with family and friends, and continued success in the new year.