What is involved in the installation of a fiberglass bridge?
It is incredibly easy compared to any other bridge alternative for 2 main reasons. First, our bridges have a size up to 50’ long and 8’ wide, so they are usually delivered in 1 piece ready for installation and use. Second, the materials are much lighter than wood, steel or aluminum.
Foundations (abutments) need to be prepared in advance. Links Bridges will design these for you and work with you or your contractor to ensure they are prepared properly. When the bridge is delivered, it can be lifted directly from the truck using a small crane or a backhoe and placed directly on the abutments. If access to the bridge site is a concern, we can supply removable wheels to allow the bridge to be towed from the unloading point to the installation site. Once placed on the abutments, anchor bolts are used to secure the bridge to the foundations.
What are the load-bearing capacities of a fiberglass bridge?
Beams and decks can be engineered and built to any load-bearing capacity. For practical purposes, the largest Vehicular Live Load that Links Bridges routinely manufactures to is 12,000 lbs. As noted above, while fiberglass has a higher strength to weight ratio than steel, fiberglass is about 14% the density of steel so fiberglass beams for loads higher than 12,000 lbs. become too large and expensive for practical application.
How much does a fiberglass bridge cost?
Like all bridges, costs will vary significantly based on length, width, guard rail requirements and applicable building codes. In general terms, the range of costs is from $500 per linear foot up to $2,000 per linear foot. For some bridge sizes and applications, there are less expensive alternatives to fiberglass. However, when maintenance costs and life cycle replacement costs are considered, the fiberglass bridge will almost certainly be the most cost-effective choice.