This project designed, fabricated, and tested a lightweight composite bridge made of fiberglassreinforced polymer honeycomb structural panels. The composite bridge was designed in accordance with U.S. Highway Bridge Code HS-25. The key strength requirement was that the span to deflection ratio be 750 under a 40,000-pound load. The bridge was constructed over No-Name Creek in Russell County, Kansas, using three fiberglass honeycomb panels with interlocking edges. Each panel was about 23 feet long and 9 feet wide. The bridge installation time was less than 6 hours. The bridge performance was tested by driving heavy vehicles onto the bridge panels and measuring the deflections (Figure 1). The performance measurements were within the bridge code requirements. The bridge is now open to traffic. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was performed in December 1996. A supplemental award (NCHRP-IDEA Project 46) has been made for preparing specifications and guidelines for installing the composite bridge and field evaluating the honeycomb panels in bridge decks on highway bridges in Kansas in coalition with the Kansas Department of Transportation. The final report is available through the National Technical Information Service (NTIS # B97-201511).
The final report for this IDEA project can be found at: