Scott County

New strips will help bridges carry big loads

SADIEVILLE — A crew worked on a small bridge in northern Scott County on Wednesday afternoon, preparing to install carbon laminate strips that will increase the amount of weight the bridge can hold.

The test project, funded by a Federal Highway Administration grant, is on a bridge built for 14 tons in a wooded area on Ky. 32, west of Sadieville.

This is only the second time this type of carbon has been used to strengthen a steel girder bridge, said Issam E. Harik, a University of Kentucky professor of civil engineering and a program manager with the Kentucky Transportation Center. The other project was in Japan.

Harik said field studies using heavy trucks will be done to evaluate the effectiveness of the strips in strengthening the bridge. He said the method is cost-effective and does not stop the flow of traffic.

"This will definitely be taken to other bridges," Harik said.

After work on the bridge is complete, it will be able to hold about three times its original load.

"Basically any truck can pass over," Harik said.