Groenier, James Scott; Eriksson, Merv ; Kosmalski, Sharon . 2006. A Guide to Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Trail Bridges. 0623 2824P. Missoula, MT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Missoula Technology and Development Center. 98 p.
Discusses the benefits and problems encountered with the use of lightweight, low-maintenance, easily constructed fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) trail bridges in remote areas where the weight of conventional bridge-building materials such as steel, concrete, or timber make their use impractical. Beginning in 1997, the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration Recreational Trails Program and the USDA Forest Service Missoula Technology and Development Center funded the design, testing, and construction of two trail bridges made of FRP composite members. This report discusses the background of FRP composites, how they are manufactured, and the applicability of FRP products to trail bridges, along with their benefits and shortcomings. Case histories of five FRP bridges in national forests and discussions of their performance are included, as is information about the installation and testing of two FRP bridges, along with guidance on design, installation, maintenance, and inspection. The qualifications required for persons who design FRP bridges for the Forest Service are outlined. A list of current suppliers of FRP trail bridges is included.
Keywords: case studies, composites, construction, damage, E.T. Techtonics, Inc., failures, Federal Highway Administration, FHWA, fiberglass, inspections, maintenance, polymers, testing
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