Composite materials used in "Bridge-In-A-Backpack" design
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today joined with state and local officials in Burrillville to highlight the recent completion of the Railroad Avenue Bridge using composite materials to replace the bridge and reopen it to traffic in just four months. RIDOT also was able to wrap up construction prior to winter, putting the project seven months ahead of its scheduled completion date. This structurally deficient bridge was completely replaced using federal funds awarded to RIDOT from the Federal Highway Administration's Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment Program. The Department used a "Bridge-In-A-Backpack" system developed at the University of Maine and commercially offered by Advanced Infrastructure Technologies. The bridge's superstructure was built using corrosion resistant fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) tubes in place of conventional steel rebar embedded in a concrete arch or concrete beams. Pre-cast concrete components also were used to expediate construction in this $3.6 million project.
"At RIDOT we are constantly looking to bring new methods and new technologies to bear to fix our ailing roads and bridges," RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr. said. "The components used on this bridge will extend the longevity of bridges versus conventional construction materials. They also provide an added benefit, that being rapid installation that shortens the duration of closures for construction."
This is the first project in Rhode Island to use this "Bridge-In-A-Backpack" construction method. Next year, RIDOT will use the same approach to replace the Barbs Hill Road Bridge in Coventry.
The construction of this project was timed to coordinate with the Department of Environmental Management's low-flow period in the Clear River, which passes underneath the bridge. Approximately 200 vehicles cross this bridge daily.
The Railroad Avenue Bridge project was made possible by RhodeWorks, RIDOT's ongoing commitment to repair structurally deficient bridges and bring Rhode Island's transportation infrastructure into a state of good repair, promote economic development, and create jobs. Learn more at www.ridot.net/RhodeWorks.