DAYTON, Ohio — Manhattan has an estimated 1.63 million people living in 23 square miles, making the New York borough one of the most crowded places in the U.S. In 2017 Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the Battery Park City Authority chose Composite Advantage’s FiberSPAN fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) pedestrian bridge system to replace the temporary structure installed after the attacks on September 11, 2001. The FRP West Thames Street crossing spans 230 ft. over six-lane West Street and Hudson River Greenway, giving pedestrians a direct connection to Battery Park City from the Financial District.
The FRP pedestrian bridge is the first of its type in New York City, sporting a glass roof, lighting and an elevator and stairwell at each end. Comprised of 16 panels, the FRP decking is supported by a two-span steel lenticular truss bridge. CA designed the structure to meet performance requirements that included a 90 psf live load and a deflection rating of L/360. Deck area totaled 3,482 sq. ft., with deck panel dimensions of 12.9 ft. by 12.9 ft., a deck depth of 4 in., and a deck weight of 8.4 psf.
“We’re seeing an uptick in use of FRP on signature pedestrian bridges,” says Scott Reeve, president of Composite Advantage. “Corrosion resistance, light weight and the design flexibility of FRP make it an attractive option. But we’re also finding that our FRP bridge products are being adopted because they are becoming a robust conduit for helping people make connections in congested urban areas.”
FiberSPAN bridge deck features included curbs, access to utilities underneath, and a long lasting, non-slip overlay of quartz aggregate polymer. The prefabricated FRP decking travelled from Ohio to Red Hook, Brooklyn where it was installed on the West Thames Street pedestrian bridge. The fully assembled structure then travelled by barge to Battery Park City where it was installed overnight with minimal traffic disruption. The West Thames crossing opened to the public in late 2019.
Composite Advantage supplies innovative fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) products for major infrastructure markets. To create its engineered solutions, CA pairs progressive designs with its capability to mold large parts, perform on-site assembly, and support customer installations. The supplier has been developing lightweight, high-strength, cost-effective FRP goods for structurally demanding applications and corrosive environments since 2005. Many of these products have paved the way for first-time use of FRP composites in infrastructure, rail and water applications because of their performance attributes. The supplier’s comprehensive lineup includes bridge decks, trail bridges, cantilever sidewalks and rail platforms to fender protection systems, pilings, naval ship separators and other waterfront structures. CA is member of the Creative Composites Group, a subsidiary of Hill and Smith Holdings PLC.
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