An engineering grand challenge, identified by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), is to restore and improve urban infrastructure. It is widely known that the aging and failing urban infrastructure is a worldwide challenge. Most recently, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has assigned a grade of “D+” to the US infrastructure, across sixteen categories. ASCE estimates that it will cost each American family $31,00 annually in personal disposable income unless the backlog of projects and deferred maintenance are duly addressed nationwide.

Engineers of 21st century will have the formidable challenge of restoring and improving infrastructure in view of limited resources and funding. Regarding the transportation systems, it has been recognized that innovative design and advanced materials can provide a more sustainable solution. In this paper, the application of the advanced fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite, a novel construction material—christened the material of 21st century—will be presented for infrastructure revitalization and renewal. Two major initiatives, utilizing FRP composites, will be described to demonstrate successful real-life applications. One of the initiatives involves the use of advanced FRP composite materials for replacement of an existing deteriorated short-span bridge superstructure. The second initiative involves rehabilitation of two existing severely deteriorated long-span box-girder bridges using post-tensioning CFRP plates via StressHead System.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. NAE (National Academy of Engineering), http://www.engineeringchallenges.org/cms/8996/9136.aspx, Accessed on 10 September 2014.
  2. ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers), Report Card for America's Infrastructure: http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/, Accessed on 10 September 2014.
  3. Thomasson S. Encouraging U.S. Infrastructure Investment – Policy Innovation Memorandum No. 17. Renewing America, Council on Foreign Relations Press, April 2012.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers). Failure to Act: The Impact of Current Infrastructure Investment on America's Economic Future. http://www.asce.org/failuretoact/, Accessed on 12 September 2014.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Economist, “Life in the slow lane,” Published on 28 April 2011 in: http://www.economist.com/node/18620944 .
  6. NRC (National Research Council). Sustainable Critical Infrastructure Systems – A Framework for Meeting 21st Century Imperatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press 2009.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Zoghi M. The International Handbook of FRP Composites Civil Engeerg. In: Zoghi M ed. CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group, 682 p., September 2013
  8. Amin M, Stringer J. The Electric Power Grid: Today and Tomorrow. MRS Bulletin. vol. 33:, www.mrs.org/bulletin, Accessed on 15 September 2014.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. EPRI Center for Materials Production, Industry Segment Profile – Composites, 125 Dublin Rd., Columbus, OH 43215, 2000.
  10. ABC's of FRP Materials, Automotive Composites Alliance, http://www.autocomposites.org/composites101/abc.cfm#materials, Accessed on 7 September 2014.
  11. Hollaway LC. The Evolution of and the Way Forward for Advanced Polymer Composites in the Civil Infrastructure. Elsevier, Construction and Building Materials. 2003; 17::365378.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. ISIS Canada, Educational Module No. 2, “An Introduction to FRP Composites for Construction,” Prepared by ISIS Canada, A Canadian Network of Centers of Excellence, Principal Contributor: L.A. Bisby, www.isiscanada.com, Published in March 2006.
  13. NBI (National Bridge Inventory) Database, http://nationalbridges.com/, Accessed on 7 September 2014.
  14. Davis SL, Goldberg D. The Fix We're in For: The State of Our Nation's Bridges. Washington, D.C: Published by the Transportation for America 2013.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error