The National Park Service got barely a decade of use out of the wood bridge deck installed on Hillside Pedestrian Bridge in Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park before rotting timbers and corroding steel forced the federal agency to close the structure and look for a longer lasting solution. The Federal Highway Administration specified FRP material in design plans for the new deck. Composite Advantage won the bid to replace the structure with its FiberSPAN bridge deck system.
Weathering steel, a new surface wear product and different color choices were some of the features that attracted the National Park Service to its FRP product says CA President Scott Reeve. “We worked with the Federal Highway Administration in 2013 on the installation of a FiberSPAN bridge deck for a 3-span steel superstructure at Wolf Creek National Park near Vienna, Virginia,” he says. “Their experience with the product on that job influenced their decision to include FRP in the design for the Hillside Pedestrian Bridge project.”
The FiberSPAN bridge deck [212 feet long, 8 feet wide] with attached curbs was installed in March 2016 on a new substructure comprised of weathering steel stringers. Ten FRP panels were attached with stainless steel connection clips. With a live load rating of 90 psf and a maintenance vehicle loading of H-5, the large prefabricated panels eliminated the man-hours typically associated with assembly of multiple smaller components and tasks such as pouring concrete.
The deck with its Matacryl quartz aggregate wear surface weighs 7 pounds per square inch. To address the corrosion issues previously associated with Hillside’s steel superstructure, high elongation sealant was applied to panel-to-panel joints. Drainage scuppers were also added to select deck panels. The color teak was chosen for deck and wear surface to match the color of the weathering steel and make rust stains from the steel less noticeable over time.