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17th September 2018, Moscow

Russia plans 6.6km composite bridge

Russia plans to use composite materials in the design and building of some unique structures, according to Andrey Ushakov, general director of ApATek (Applied Prospective Technologies), one of the country’s leading scientific and production enterprises.

As part of these plans, composite bridge beams with specific weight and efficiency advantages are currently being perfected, to be used in the building of extended-length bridges.

The bridge will be built to connect Sakhalin island in the North Pacific Ocean to the mainland.

According to Evgeny Ditrich an official spokesman of the Russian Minister of Transport, the first such bridge will be built to connect Sakhalin – a large Russian island in the North Pacific Ocean – to the mainland.

The volume of investments in the implementation of the project is not disclosed but may cost the Russian federal budget about US$100 million.

According to Ushakov, Russia will be the first to achieve composite bridge structures of such length. 

“Composite beams are the only possible way to organise the movement of high-speed trains,” he said. “In the West, a ballast section is used, while China prefers to build overpasses that damage the environment. Composite solution would be the most effective and environmentally safe for Russia.”

Intensive efforts to develop glass fibre composite bridges are currently underway in the US, Japan, Switzerland and the Netherlands in particular, where they are now standard.

They offer numerous benefits, experts say, because the material is immune to both frost damage and de-icing salts. Another benefit is significantly reduced weight. A glass fibre bridge has only about 40% of the weight of a steel composite and less than 30% of that of a pre-stressed concrete bridge. In addition, it can be prefabricated in significantly larger dimensions and lifted into position by crane.

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