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Student Develops Bridge Reinforcement System


ORONO - In a report last month, Maine's bridges ranked 9th worst in the nation. But one University of Maine graduate student is creating a system to make those bridges safer, almost immediately.


Hannah Breton-Loring is developing a system for aging concrete bridges.

"What the system does is it increases the strength of the bridges that may need to be weight posted or potentially replaced in the next couple of years."

Her solution is a fiber reinforced polymer composite that's attached to the bottom of the bridges beams.

The system can be implemented in a days time and at a fraction of the cost of replacement.

"Flat slab concrete bridges can be anywhere from 100,000 dollars up, and so the system I'm working on we're looking to just kind of increase the life span of these bridges by 15 to 20 years so that we can kind of space out when the bridges need to be replaced."

Creating an additional reinforcement method for the department of transportation to purchase.

"This provides them something that they can send out to manufacturers and say here are the design specifications, how much can you make it for us?"






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