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Green Engineering:  The World's First Railway Bridge Made of Recycled Plastic.

Richard High reports in the May 25, 2010 edition of International Construction that International engineering consultant, Parsons Brinckerhoff has designed and built the world's first railway bridges made of recycled plastic.  These bridges were created for the US Army at Fort Eustis, virginia.

These bridges were set to open in June of this year and are made of a material called Recycled Structural Composite (RSC) and is made up of recycled domestic and industrial plastic and is produced by Axion International Holdings.

The bridges comprise two 40 and 80 ft sections and can support upwards of 130 ton locomotives.

"RSC material meets the country's need for green, sustainable and durable products, which are highly competitive at initial bidding stage and are substantially more so on a life cycle cost basis," said Parsons Brinckerhoff's Vijay Chandra, principal-in-charge for design of the two railway bridges.

The capability of using recycled plastic for building infrastructure is a compelling concept with a huge reward for society in that the disposal of plastic is a major environmental problem and traditional building materials can also be harmful to the environment during manufacturing.

The CEO of Axion, James Kerstein, put it this way: "This represents another truly historic event for both structural engineers and environmentally conscious individuals across the nation."  He went on to explain that not only is the material very strong but its also less expensive to use then wood, concrete or steel.



Sunday globe - Money and Careers When Engineering a Professional Comeback

Studying catepillars for robotics.  Monday - business -