Every bridge features a deck, the actual surface on which traffic runs. The deck’s structure varies based on the bridge’s purpose. A vehicle bridge, for example, requires a much stronger structure than a pedestrian bridge so that it can better withstand the loads it carries when in use.
As transportation has evolved over the centuries, it has forced bridge builders to develop new structural solutions and implement alternatives to better meet the needs of contemporary commuters. At Composite Advantage, we’re committed to mastering accelerated bridge construction methods and the latest innovations in bridge construction alike.
Composite Advantage's FiberSPAN-V
While the best bridge for you largely depends on your community’s needs, we at Composite Advantage believe that FRP decks are the most effective solution for today’s bridges. Designed with simplicity and durability in mind, our FiberSPAN-V vehicle bridge systems feature prefabricated fiberglass panels that are 20% lighter than concrete. Because of their high strength, they’re well-suited to nearly any type of traffic.
The FiberSPAN-V FRP bridge system is a prefabricated bridge element full of features like crowns, curbs, drains, and non-slip overlay that handles snow plows. Quick installation minimizes traffic delays. Its long-term savings make it the most cost-effective solution available today. With an expected lifespan of 100 years, it requires much less maintenance than most concrete and metal bridges.
Types of Bridge Deck Systems
Timber Deck Systems Timber is among the oldest materials used to fabricate bridge decks. A timber deck consists of a series of rough cut beams placed on wooden, iron, or steel frames. Today, timber decks are mostly used in pedestrian bridges and a handful of car and rail bridges in low traffic areas. Since wood inevitably decays over time, and can be further damaged by heat and humidity, maintenance on this type of bridge decks can be expensive.
Cast in Place (CIP) Concrete Decks CIP decks are the most common type seen in the United States. As the name suggests, the concrete used in the deck is cast on-site in the bridge’s final position. The concrete can be poured over steel rebar for additional reinforcement. While its upfront costs are relatively low, it usually requires significant maintenance throughout its working life
Precast Concrete Deck Systems Unlike CIP decks, precast concrete decks are made with concrete slabs that are cast elsewhere and delivered to the site of the bridge for construction. Each segment is about 8 to 12 ft long. Precast decks are usually made of pre-stressed concrete to minimize the risk of damage during transportation.
Metal Deck Systems Metal grid decks are typically used on movable or long span bridges to capitalize on their economic and structural benefits. It can be combined with concrete in part or in full to reduce the noise generated by passing traffic, increase its durability, and simplify drainage.
Steel Orthotropic Decks Steel orthotropic decks consist of a flat, thin steel plate that’s reinforced with a series of longitudinal ribs that are perpendicular to the intermediate floor beams supporting the bridge deck. They’re commonly used in Europe, Asia, and South America.
Aluminum Orthotropic Decks Aluminum orthotropic decks are similar to their steel counterparts, but aluminum offers greater resistance to corrosion and less maintenance. However, their high cost makes them unpalatable to many contractors.
FRP Deck Systems The latest deck system, FRP decks are manufactured with fiberglass reinforced polymer. Strong yet lightweight, these decks work particularly well on movable bridges and short to medium span bridges,
Lightweight - Long Lasting - Low Maintenance
Our FiberSPAN-V vehicle FRP bridge decks are especially suited for movable and historic steel truss bridge projects that require light weight material. Prefabricated decks include crowns, cross-slope, skews, curbs, drain scuppers, non-slip overlay and railing. Quick installation minimizes traffic delays.
Engineered for high-strength
20 percent lighter than concrete
100-year life cycle
Bridge building is a complex science, but the experts at Composite Advantage have the experience and expertise needed to develop a cutting-edge solution for any contractor or department of transportation. To learn more about Composite Advantage’s FiberSPAN-V vehicle bridge systems, contact us today.