In October 1996, the Federal Highway Administration organized and sponsored a scanning tour on advanced composites in bridges to three select European countries and Japan. The purpose of the tour was to assess the state-of-the-art in the use of composites in bridge construction. The technical findings from the scanning team are basically categorized into new bridge construction, strengthening of existing bridges, and seismic retrofitting of bridge piers. The scanning report states that the United States' composite materials bridge technology has developed concurrently with those of the world and is neither behind nor significantly ahead of the countries visited. However, over the course of the last four years, the United States has funded more vehicular bridge projects using the FRP composite materials than any other country. Of the 77 vehicular bridges constructed in the world that we are aware of now, two-thirds of them (51) are located in the United States of America. We did not count those bridges that had thousands of pier columns retrofitted in California. We anticipate more proposed projects seeking Federal funds are forthcoming as we enter into the new millennium. This is indicative of the initial success for this new composite material technology. The remaining discussion in this paper focuses on some of the initial successful bridge applications in the United States using FRP composites. The discussions highlight the advantages and disadvantages, concerns, and future needs to advance the composite technology into the civil infrastructure. For the covering abstract see IRRD E104152.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Thomas Telford Limited

    London,   United Kingdom 
  • Publication Date: 1999


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 00788357
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 0-7277-2841-5
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Mar 3 2000 12:00AM