A Bridge to Last

Prototype composite bridge will support the weight of an 18-wheel truck.
Lockheed Martin Photo
"PALO ALTO, CA -- Lockheed Martin engineers recently unveiled the first polymer-composite bridge ever assembled in the United States. Advantages include light weight, resistance to corrosion, ease of transportation and rapid construction. Unlike the exotic structures used in advanced defense hardware light fighter planes, the bridge uses readily available fiberglass-type materials. Compared with traditional concrete and steel costs of 30 cents to $1 per pound, composite's $5-per-pound price tag might seem high. But at one-fifth the weight, composites are roughly equivalent in cost per square foot." [Popular Mechanics, March 1996]

updated 1997 February 9