The first thought that might come to mind after reading this article could be a question: “Who would have thought?”
A damaged, decades-old concrete bridge just off a narrow, curvy rural road in north central Tennessee’s Morgan County will soon come down, and a low-cost, low-maintenance, technologically advanced composites bridge deck system with a 100-year lifespan will take its place. It is all part of a privately funded infrastructure project demonstrating fiber-reinforced polymer composite materials, or FRPs, as a fast and easy sustainable solution for improving the thousands of structurally deficient rural bridges that plague financially strapped counties across the U.S.
Morgan County officials are partnering with private industry and researchers at the University of Tennessee and the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, or IACMI—The Composites Institute®, in Knoxville to create an affordable bridge that can be installed quickly and will safely meet transportation needs in the rural community. Learn more about the work here.