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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

HC Bridge's hybrid composite beam earns 'Pankow' innovation award, TRB says

HC Bridge Co. will receive the Charles Pankow Award for Innovation from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for developing the hybrid composite beam (HCB®) for bridges, according to the Transportation Research Board (TRB).

A high-strength, lightweight and corrosion-resistant bridge beam, HCB is designed to improve the speed of bridge construction and last more than 100 years in service. An HCB weighs about one-tenth of a conventional precast concrete beam of the same span length and comprises three main subcomponents: a shell, compression reinforcement and tension reinforcement.

The ASCE award recognizes the contributions of organizations that work collaboratively to introduce innovations. To develop the HCB, HC Bridge worked with the TRB, University of Delaware and Association of American Railroads.

HC Bridge's receipt of the award "underscores the importance of transportation research," said TRB Executive Director Robert Skinner Jr. in a press release.

BNSF Railway Co.
last year conducted live load tests of a full-scale HCB rail bridge at the Transportation Technology Center Inc. near Pueblo, Colo. After logging more than 250 million gross tons of traffic during the tests, the HCB now will be placed in a revenue service pilot this summer, TRB officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/8/2013