NEWS / Parsons Brinckerhoff to create design guide for Axion plastic bridges


Axion International has appointed Parsons Brinckerhoff to create a design guide covering use of its recycled plastic for bridges.

The guide is intended to provide data required by users in the design and construction of short span bridges using Axion’s Struxure products and construction systems as alternatives to legacy building materials.

The design guide will provide information about the strength and durability for heavy-load infrastructure applications for Axion’s products. It is aimed at making it easier for engineers to use Axion’s sustainable I-beams, pilings, planks and other products for their construction projects.

Axion executive vice president Dave Crane said in order to mass market these building products to the short-span bridge market the company needed to provide engineered guidance. “The Federal Highway Administration’s Bridge Inventory Database states almost 80,000 bridges are considered functionally obsolete and more than 70,000 are structurally deficient in the US. We’re making the capabilities and specifications of our Struxure recycled composite construction systems available to builders seeking new, sustainable products. We anticipate that once engineers, construction firms and industry experts are educated to the advantages of our Struxure products, they’ll realise the actual cost-savings from the original start of construction through the full life-cycle of these structures."

The design guide will specifically address the short-span vehicular bridge applications of 7.6m and less in length. “We intend to target municipal, state and county bridge applications as well as private applications such as park and recreation and mixed residential/industrial complexes,” said Crane. “Future design guides will address other infrastructure building needs.”

In December 2011 the first Struxure bridge located in the US highway system was opened in the state of Maine. “This bridge was designed to carry the current AASHTO live load,” said Parsons Brinckerhoff senior professional associate Dr John Kim. "On this bridge, for the first time in the world, the abutments and wingwalls are also made of Axion’s Struxure. I believe this new design guide will make Struxure more attractive to bridge owners because it will significantly save design expenses.”

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