American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Honors AIT

Advanced Infrastructure Technologies, Inc. (AIT) announced that its Bridge-in-a-Backpack™ System developed at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center of the University of Maine has been awarded the 2011 Charles Pankow Award for Innovation by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

The Charles Pankow Award for Innovation was established to celebrate collaboration in innovative design, materials, or construction-related research and development transferred into practice.

This year the University of Maine will receive the award for Bridge-in-a-Backpack™ technology, designed for sustainable infrastructure, which is being commercialized internationally by Advanced Infrastructure Technologies and has been successfully implemented by MaineDOT.

The product uses carbon fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite arch tubes that serve as superstructure components to efficiently carry bridge design loads. The FRP tubes provide several functions – they act as external reinforcement for concrete, provide a form for the concrete, and protect the concrete from corrosion/spalling. This system of structural reinforcement eliminates the need for steel rebar inside the structure. The arches offer a greater degree of sustainability compared to steel and precast concrete. The lightweight system is easily transportable and does not require the heavy equipment needed to handle traditional construction materials.

“We believe that new technologies are critical to replacing deficient infrastructure with a more cost effective, longer lasting product compared to traditional construction,” said Barry Raeburn, Executive Vice President of AIT.

FRP Arch bridge applications are gaining widespread acceptance throughout New England with installations in Maine and Massachusetts plus design work in a growing number of U.S. States and foreign countries. The system is easy to install and exceeds national standards for public safety and design loads. AIT helps owners create a longer lasting structure that virtually eliminates harmful maintenance and corrosion issues. Competitive on a first-cost basis with numerous life cycle cost advantages, the use of FRP Arches could lift the strain of our nation’s stressed transportation system while extending the lifespan of our future inventory.

Dr. Habib Dagher, Director of the Advanced Structures and Composites Center and board member of AIT will receive the award during ASCE’s Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Awards Gala held in Washington, DC on March 31, 2011. The OPAL Awards are the preeminent awards program for civil engineers and the ASCE’s principal mechanism for bringing worldwide attention to the contributions and accomplishments of the civil engineering community.

“This award reinforces the positive response we received from the marketplace for our current bridge systems. Focusing on sustainable infrastructure, our hybrid composite-concrete bridge technology can save money, reduce fabrication timelines, lessen transportation costs, accelerate bridge construction, and dramatically reduce lifetime maintenance costs. In the field this technology has proven to be a highly customizable, safe, cost competitive bridge system. We thank the ASCE for recognizing our technology with this prestigious award,” said Mr. Raeburn.

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