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Bridges & Structures

Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Composite Bridge Technology

schematic of proposed cable-stayed bridge in San Diego, California

For more than 25 years, the FHWA, AASHTO, and NCHRP has researched and demonstrated the use of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites, space age technology for bridge construction. New breeds of this high performance and innovative material developed in the last 70 years are making headway into the civil and bridge infrastructures. Structural components for hybrid bridge construction such as FRP deck panels and slabs, reinforcing elements, cable and tendon systems, and laminates have been successfully demonstrated in highway bridges. Currently, there are more vehicular bridge projects using FRP composite materials in the United States than in any other country. Many of these projects have been funded through FHWA's Innovative Bridge Research and Construction and Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment programs. The current focus for the FHWA is to advance the FRP composite technology to rebuild the American transportation infrastructure in new bridge construction as well as the rehabilitation and maintenance of the existing bridge inventory. The use of the FRP materials for repair and strengthening of structural concrete members is increasing, and when properly designed and applied, it can be effective and efficient. The rebuilding of the Nation's highway system presents a tremendous market opportunity well into the 21st Century.

Updated: 08/07/2013
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000