Composite Advantage completes installation of US bridge deck

The bridge deck being installed.
The bridge deck being installed.

The 3.5 inch thick, 7-span-wide bridge deck is Composite Advantage's largest project to date and represents one of the largest composite pedestrian bridge decks in the world.

Part of the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative, a $10 billion investment to restore and revitalise the Anacostia River and its surrounding area, the bridge was constructed using 88 composite panels and is 685 ft long and 16 ft wide, spanning a road and active railroad tracks.

The deck was manufactured with Composite Advantage’s sandwich construction which employs fibreglass top and bottom skins and closely-spaced internal webs that function like a series of I-beams. Composite Advantage moulded and manufactured both straight and curved panels to accommodate the customer’s specifications for a bridge deck with an S-curve that could safely transition pedestrian traffic over the road and railroad tracks. The panels were moulded with a beige pigment to meet aesthetic requirements for the national park. The panels were delivered with a beige, non-slip wear surface.

Composite Advantage, based on Dayton, Ohio, helped reduce on-site construction time and costs by delivering deck panels with prefabricated features such as curbs able to accommodate hand rails and light posts. It built drainage scuppers into the deck panels as well as electrical junction boxes to support the lighting system. The panels were connected to steel beams using clips bolted to the bottom of the decking. Six spans were placed on steel beams with a middle span attached to an enclosed steel truss to clear the railroad tracks.

Weighing 1250 lb each, the 8 ft long panels took just 3 days to install.