Composite Bridge Decking: Preliminary Design Report

This report describes an existing lightweight bridge decking system that is being refined for use on movable bridges such as bascule spans. The deck is a 5-inch-deep section consisting of fiber-reinforced polymer materials and high-strength grout. Fabrication steps have been simplified, global behavior and local details have been analyzed, and construction details have been developed so that owners can be assured of satisfactory structural performance. Particular attention has been given to the wearing surface, since some other decking systems have not provided long-term durability. While performance has been established as the primary objective, the installed cost must be affordable and competitive against other alternatives when consideration is given to the potential for lower life cycle bridge costs. The proposed section is symmetrical about a horizontal plane so that it is well suited for the alternating positive and negative bending moments that the deck experiences in service. Deflection controls the design of the deck, and the grout makes an important contribution toward bending stiffness. Alternating the grout between the top and bottom of the deck makes the section stiffer, and presumably more durable, since cracking is less likely to occur due to local deformation. The deck is intended for use on steel stringers spaced up to 5 feet but will first be installed on a town-owned fixed bridge to demonstrate that the installation details have been addressed adequately. This report documents the early stages of design and constructability discussions so that input can be received from the project’s Technical Advisory Panel and other potential stakeholders.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    BridgeComposites, LLC

    121 Upper Bennett Street
    Hornell, NY  United States  14843-1451

    Federal Highway Administration

    Highways for LIFE Technology Partnerships Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC    20590
  • Authors:
    • O'Connor, J
  • Publication Date: 2011-12


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Bibliography; Figures; Glossary; Maps; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 53p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01766460
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-HIF-12-021
  • Contract Numbers: DTFH61-09-RA-00006
  • Created Date: Jan 13 2021 2:28PM