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Sustainable Structures

Unlocking the Market:

Composite Bridges and Structures

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Building infrastructure that lasts and require little or no maintenance is now possible with lightweight, durable composite materials. In order to unlock the market, state DOT’s must partner with the composites industry to develop predictability of demand so the industry can invest in R&D and capacity building.

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The Policy Case

Advancing the use of materials like fiber reinforced polymers (composites) in our public infrastructure is compelling and urgent.  The use of resilient and sustainable materials, practices and technologies used in the development and construction of our state and local transportation infrastructure is becoming a policy prerequisite. Using proven and tested strong, durable, and non-corrosive materials to build our infrastructure is the ultimate in building back better.

The promise of composite bridge technology and its potential application to a wide array of bridge sites is an important step in extending the lifecycle of bridges, accelerating bridge construction, and creating opportunities to substantially reduce the cost of bridge maintenance.


Under the Federal Aid Highway Program (FAHP), the demonstration project has long been an effective tool for state DOT’s to demonstrate specific technology in an accelerated manner to advance the state of knowledge for their own departments and other jurisdictions such as county and local transportation infrastructure owners.  


  • Infrastructure innovation always requires policy level leadership combined with the essential engagement of the civil engineering discipline, in this case the bridge community. 

  • Composite bridge technology, in addition to having clear sustainability advantages, will effectively bring clear benefits in value to the public's long-term bridge assets owned and managed by state and local agencies.

  • The presence of these competitive advanced materials in your marketplace will create more competition to the traditional steel and precast products – competition is essential to competitive prices in any marketplace.  That is why the FAHP and state procurement policies do and should encourage competition.

IV Spotlight:
Composite Bridge Solutions

Construction Equipment Guide
September 9, 2021 - Northeast Edition #19
Lori Tobias - CEG Correspondent

""The bipartisan framework for highway and bridges includes the biggest single investment — nearly $40 billion — for bridge infrastructure since construction of the Interstate Highway System over 60-plus years ago," said Greg Nadeau, former administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, chairman of Infrastructure Ventures and a Board Member of Maine-based Advanced Infrastructure Technologies (AIT), which engineers and manufactures composite bridges and other composite products. "These are historical levels of investment. I expect a sea change over the next 10 years in how we build infrastructure."."  Link to full article

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