SCC-filled, carbon-fiber tube bridge system lands ASCE award, DOT traction

Source: Advanced Infrastructure Technologies Inc., Orono, Maine

A carbon fiber reinforced polymer composite arch tube product—pumped with ready mixed on site and geared to 20–80-ft. span bridges— has landed the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2011 Charles Pankow Award for Innnovation. Dubbed Bridge-in-a-Backpack, the 12-in. or 15-in. diameter FRP tubes bear 3/8-in. aggregate mixes with superplasticizers dosed to impart self consolidating concrete-level spread characteristics. As superstructure components, the hardened tubes provide what engineers note are corrosion protection and external concrete reinforcement in lieu of conventional rebar.

Bridge-in-a-Backpack was developed at the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center and is being commercialized globally by Advanced Infrastructure Technologies. “We believe new technologies are critical to replacing deficient infrastructure with a more cost effective, longer lasting product compared to traditional construction,” says AIT Executive V.P. Barry Raeburn. “This award reinforces the positive response we received from the marketplace. Focusing on sustainable infrastructure, our hybrid composite-concrete bridge technology can save money, reduce fabrication timelines, lessen transportation costs, accelerate bridge construction, and reduce maintenance costs.”

The Charles Pankow Award reinforces positive marketplace response, he adds, with the FRP arch bridge method gaining acceptance in the Northeast on the strength of eight Maine and Massachusetts installations. Bridge-in-a-Backpack was honored during the ASCE Outstanding Projects and Leaders Awards Gala late last month in Washington, D.C. Named for a driving force in precast and cast-in-place methods, and design-build project delivery, the Pankow Award recognizes collaboration in innovative design, materials, or construction-related research and development transferred into practice.