Market Growth Highlights – ACMA Insider – February 22, 2024

ACMA Submits Updated FRP Pedestrian Bridge Specification to AASHTO

For the last year, ACMA’s Transportation Structures Council (TSC) has worked to update the first edition of the AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) FRP Pedestrian Bridge Specification that was published in 2008. The updated publication was significantly enhanced with new information, state of the practice product information and construction practices to double the size of the original publication. A task group comprised of representatives of the TSC worked closely with the AASHTO Specialized Structures Committee to create this updated document. The updated document has been submitted to AASHTO and will now be reviewed and commented on by the 50 State Bridge Engineers. After the comment period, and additional changes made, this publication will be voted on and approved by the State Bridge Engineers at the annual Bridges and Structures Committee meetings in Indianapolis, June 16-21.

The refreshed FRP Pedestrian Bridge Specification is a major upgrade from the original publication. First, unlike the original which was written in Allowable Stress Design protocol, the new version is written in a Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) protocol used by bridge engineers today. The standard is written in a two column format of provision and commentary. The commentary explains improvements and important details for engineers to consider and follow. The updated document expands the knowledge and use of pultruded pedestrian bridges like the original, and now can cite the newly published ASCE/SEI 74, along with current state of practice. In addition, the document adds the use of pedestrian bridges made using sandwich construction for vacuum infusion processing (VIP) manufacturing process. New sections were added including inspection, maintenance, instructions for a special design provision to help engineers incorporate new designs for installations, and a dedicated materials specification for FRP bridge components. A major component of this publication is the expanded commentary on general design philosophy and resistance factors. 

This project was funded by TSC members. A subject matter expert was hired to guide the project to completion that so far has been very successful. In addition, the ACMA TSC now has a much better connection with the state bridge engineers of the AASHTO Specialize Structures Committee. Please contact John Busel with questions.