AXION International Holdings, Inc., a maker of recycled plastic and plastic composite technologies used to produce ECOTRAX rail products and STRUXURE building products, announced that the St. Lawrence County Department of Highways of New York state has purchased its second order of STRUXURE building materials.
The order for 6”x24” tongue & groove (T&G) boards is being used to repair and restore bridge decking on the Dean Road Bridge in Clare, NY. As a result of this order 30,000 pounds of plastic have been taken out of the landfill stream, and instead used to manufacture STRUXURE boards that will strengthen America’s infrastructure.
This is the second STRUXURE order from the St. Lawrence County Department of Highways. In addition, AXION is working with this county on two more bridge projects using AXION I-Beams, T&G deck boards and railroad ties. The St. Lawrence Department of Highways’ staff of engineers designs bridges, purchases materials, and installs materials with their own maintenance staff.
“When we installed STRUXURE boards on a culvert project as an alternative to stay-in-place concrete forms last year, they were easy to install and they have shown to be very durable through the harsh weather conditions we have here in upstate New York. It’s a good investment for us because STRUXURE is impervious to water and salt, so it doesn’t go through the wear and tear that traditional materials do over time. That means once it’s in, there will be significantly less maintenance as compared with traditional construction materials. The ease and simplicity of working with the material also saves time during construction, allowing for shorter road closures. We’re looking to integrate more STRUXURE products into our highway and bridge infrastructure,” says Toby Bogart, P.E., St. Lawrence County’s Superintendent of Highways.
STRUXURE building materials have been purchased and used to build and repair bridges in several other counties including vehicular bridges in Logan County, OH; Wharton State Forest in Hammonton, NJ; and in York, ME; a pedestrian and horse bridge in Ventura County, CA; an M1 tank bridge at Fort Bragg, NC; and a rail bridge at Fort Eustis, VA.
The American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2009 report states that while $10.5 billion is spent annually on the construction and maintenance of bridges, a $17 billion annual investment is needed to substantially improve current bridge conditions. According to the Federal Highway Administration, in 2011 143,899 bridges were either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, with a surface area exceeding 89 million square meters.
County and municipal highway departments are faced with the challenge of prolonging the useful life of these bridges and maintaining their safety, which enables the counties to delay the expense of replacing the bridges. Each county department office, on average, manages hundreds of bridges. County engineers are looking for building products that last and require no maintenance.
“We are receiving an increasing level of inquiry on bridge deck replacements for deteriorating wood boards on bridges both domestically and internationally. There is a tremendous need to maintain, restore, and in many cases replace aging bridge infrastructure in the U.S.,” stated AXION President and CEO Steve Silverman. “Our STRUXURE I-beams and tongue & groove boards provide a durable, high-performance, no-maintenance-required solution that offers a strong ROI relative to traditional building materials. We believe this is a significant growth category for our STRUXURE products.”