Can Fiberglass Decking be Used as a Permanent Walkway Add-On for Bridges?

Prior to SAFPLANK® & EXTREN® Refurbishment

In 2015, the Franklin County Engineers Office in Columbus, Ohio needed to refurbish a public walkway alongside a four lane bridge spanning over Big Walnut Creek.

Over time, the steel check plates and support members corroded beyond repair due to heavy exposure from vehicular runoff comprised of brine salt, de-icing fluids, gasoline, antifreeze and motor oil.

Through the use of Strongwell’s Corrosion Resistance Guide, Made in USA pultruded fiberglass products were prescribed for this installation due to future concerns with corrosion and also due to FRP’s ease of installation. Gritted, interlocking SAFPLANK® panels measuring 2" thick x 24" wide were used for the fiberglass decking/walkway surfaces. EXTREN® Series 525 pultruded beams were used to replace various steel support structures underneath the walkway.

bridge walkway add on

After SAFPLANK® & EXTREN® Refurbishment

Transportation detours and closures weren’t an option for this project. Franklin County bridge crews were able to minimize traffic disruption by not bringing in heavy lifting equipment such as cranes or forklifts. Instead, Strongwell products were delivered onsite and lifted by crew members into installation over a short time span.

Through the success of this project, the department is examining how to utilize more fiberglass pultruded products in transportation related refurbishments to provide multiple decades of maintenance-free service.

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