Case Study: COMPOSOLITE® Scaffolding is the Perfect Choice for Bridge Repair Projects

1201-Bridge ScaffoldingStrongwell's COMPOSOLITE® FRP building panels were used as scaffolding for a bridge reconstruction project in New Jersey. FRP scaffolding served as working platforms when construction workers replaced the Driscoll Bridge's bearings. It also functioned to catch debris that fell off of the bridge deck during the work.

COMPOSOLITE® panels were pultruded in a safety yellow color and a fine grit surface was added for skid resistance. A total of 8,074 eight-foot long pieces were shipped to the site and were assembled to create 22' x 66' platforms that were suspended about ten feet below the bridge deck.

COMPOSOLITE® panels were chosen instead of using conventional materials (i.e. plywood sheets, corrugated steel sheets) to build the working platforms during the Driscoll Bridge reconstruction for several reasons. First, plywood has proven to fall apart quickly when exposed to the elements and must be replaced quite frequently. On the contrary, FRP panels resist nature's elements.

Both the steel and plywood alternatives would require more supports to stabilize them as mandated by State specifications. This would have created a large maze of vertical supports along the bridge and made working around them a time consuming task.

Product: Fiberglass Scaffolding
Process: Pultrusion
Materials: COMPOSOLITE® Fiberglass reinforced polymer building panel system

  • Yellow color
  • Added SL fine grit
Sizes: 2' x 8' COMPOSOLITE® panels
User: Conti Enterprises, Inc.
Location: Driscoll Bridge, Raritan Bay, New Jersey

Luckily, the lightweight FRP scaffold was efficiently fabricated on the ground and then the completed unit was hoisted into place where it required less vertical supports. In addition, thin steel plates cause unsteady surfaces because of its flex, or bounce. This causes workers' movement on the platforms to slow. FRP panels are stiffer, reducing the deflection of the panel as workers walk on them.

When asked about other benefits of using COMPOSOLITE® building panels for this project, Conti Enterprises, Inc. Project Supervisor said, "Our contractors can store the panels for use on future projects after the bridge's reconstruction. Corrugated steel or plywood would just end up in the trash heap."

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