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Home > Maine Composites Initiative > Bridge in a Backpack

Bridge in a Backpack

This is a photo of the installation of FRP Arches.

The concept of a composite arch shape filled with concrete was originally started in 2001. The AEWC conducted extensive testing and modeling and completed parallel work for the U.S. Army leading to development of the Bridge in a Backpack. The first bridge was constructed at Neal Bridge in Pittsfield in the fall of 2008. The 27 ft. long arch structure was manufactured from hollow carbon fiber composite tubular arches spaced at approximately 2-feet on center, erected into place and filled with concrete. A corrugated fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) composite decking was installed on top. The head walls were constructed with a FRP sheet pile system. MaineDOT plans to construct six (6) more bridges in the next two years. This along with further research being conducted at the AEWC should optimize the cost effectiveness and durability of this technology.


ResourcesThis is a photo of the completed Neal Bridge.

Photo Gallery: Construction of the Neal Bridge

Behavior of Inflatable Rigidified Composite Arch Bridges - AEWC paper presented at Composites and Polycon 2009 (PDF)

Bridge in a Backpack Brochure - AEWC Advanced Structures and Composites Center (PDF)

Final Report 09-07: Design, Construction, and Testing of the Neal Bridge, Pittsfield, Maine

FRP Arch - Neal Bridge Brochure (PDF)

FRP Arch Lab Testing Presentation (PDF)







This page last updated on 8/16/10



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