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Polyurethane/steel deck wins Canadian design award

The Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) has given a sustainability design award to a polyurethane bridge application in Edmonton, Alta.


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December 17, 2011 by Canadian Plastics

The Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) has given a sustainability design award to a polyurethane bridge application in Edmonton, Alta.

The project, co-designed by Canadian consulting firm consultancy and Edmonton-based Empire Iron Works, combines a lightweight composite steel plate and elastomer deck system using a technology originally developed for the marine industry and only recently applied to bridge construction. The system basically consists of two thin steel face plates connected by an injected elastomer core, for a total thickness of only 45 mm. 

The system was used to repair Edmonton’s 100-year-old Dawson Bridge, a five-span riveted steel through-truss bridge that was originally built to carry electric trains to a coal mine on the east bank of the North Saskatchewan River. Later converted to carry automobiles, the 236 meter-long, eight meter-wide bridge currently accommodates 17,000 vehicles per day along with significant pedestrian and cyclist traffic. After almost a century of use, the bridge needed significant repair including total deck replacement and truss repainting.

“This deck system is light compared to a conventional deck system,” said Kris Lima, a structural engineer with Dialog. “By using this system, we were able to reduce by more than half the number of members needing strengthening or replacement to bring the bridge up to current safety standards. Only a handful of bridges have been built using this technology. The Dawson Bridge project is the first major project in the world of this scale to incorporate this innovative system.”  

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