BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION: New materials help sustain life of Maine bridge

Sept. 20, 2016

Hybrid composite beams along with a deck made from glass polymer-reinforced bars will extend the life of the new bridge

A new $4.3 million bridge using modern-day composite material is open to traffic in Thomaston, Maine.

The new Wadsworth Street bridge spanning the St. George River will have a formal opening ceremony on Oct. 5.

The 300-ft long, 36-ft wide bridge replaces a span that has been in place since 1928, connecting Thomaston to its Brooklyn Heights neighborhood and the Cushing peninsula. The old bridge is less than 20-ft wide in the travel lanes.

The new bridge was built over two construction seasons.

The project used a new technology with hybrid composite beams, which are fiberglass shells with a concrete arch built inside of them for extended design life, according to the Maine Department of Transportation. The bridge also was built with glass polymer reinforced bars for the support structure of the bridge deck, which will last longer because it will not rust. Pipe pile foundations were coated with a thick spray called LINE X, for additional corrosion protection. The spray is used on truck bed liners.

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