First railroad bridge built entirely from recycled plastic at Fort Eustis

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The first ever railroad bridge made from almost 100 percent recycled plastic has been built at Fort Eustis in Newport News.

Two of these bridges are being built on the base. The bridges, which will span 40 and 80 feet, are designed to hold 130 tons, or 260,000 pounds.

The bridges use technology of Axion International Holdings Inc. of New Providence, N.J. The bridges are made of Axiom’s Recycled Structural Composite, which is a thermoplastic solution made of post-consumer and industrial plastic.

“This represents another truly historic event for both structural engineers and environmentally conscious individuals across the nation,” James Kerstein, Axiom CEO said in a statement. “Not only is this bridge able to support the weight of a 120-ton locomotive, but it was also less expensive to build than one using steel, concrete or wood. Axion’s RSC solutions are designed in a manner that are nearly maintenance-free and eco-friendly.”

Parsons Brinkerhoff of New York designed the bridges. Centennial Contractors Enterprises of Reston, the prime contractor for the project, is doing design and engineering work on the bridges. English Construction Co. of Lynchburg is performing construction and demolition for the bridges.

Fort Eustis houses the U.S. Army Transportation Corps.

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