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Plastic railway bridges

06 Mar 2010

USA: Two short bridges on a freight line near the Fort Eustis Army Transportation Corps base in Virginia, USA, are to be replaced by structures consisting almost entirely of recycled plastic.

The plastic materials should allow the weight limit of the structures to be increased to 118 tonnes, giving greater scope for military equipment to be transported by rail.

Parsons Brinckerhoff is managing the project, while Axion International Corp is supplying holdings, I-beams for pilecaps and main girders, cross-ties and curbing. Axion CEO Jim Kerstein explained that the bridges would make use of 'tonnes of recycled products that would normally be destined for landfills. This includes household items such as milk jugs, detergent bottles, and car bumpers.'

The Recycled Structural Composite bridges will replace two wooden bridges faster and less expensively than could have been achieved using wood, steel or concrete.