MaineBiz Article: Building bridges, Harbor Technologies challenges the supremacy of steel and concrete bridge beams

UMaine Composites Center’s collaboration with Harbor Technologies, MDOT highlighted in recent MaineBiz article titled, “Building bridges, Harbor Technologies challenges the supremacy of steel and concrete bridge beams.”

“Martin Grimnes, founder and CEO of Harbor Technologies Inc. in Brunswick, stands beneath the Union Street Bridge that crosses over Interstate 95 in Bangor. An average of 18,000 drivers use the bridge daily, which makes the two-phase, $8.8 million replacement of the 54-year-old bridge one of the higher profile jobs among the 425 capital projects worth $455 million that the Maine Department of Transportation started last year.

On an early June day, CPM Constructors’ crews have nearly completed work on the closed-off bridge’s north lanes, getting ready to reopen them to two-way traffic when demolition begins on the south lanes. A visiting delegation of the U.S. Domestic Scan Program joins Grimnes beneath the bridge — eight to 10 state transportation officials and civil engineers who scramble up a sandy bank for a closer look at the hybrid composite beams built by Harbor Technologies that now support the bridge’s north lanes. Aside from the lack of rust and standard green paint marking the soon-to-be-removed steel beams of the bridge’s southern half, the new composite beams look, well, remarkably like steel.

‘As one of only a handful of university labs nationwide that have earned ISO 17025 accreditation, the UMaine Composites Center provides a valuable service to Harbor Technologies and other Maine composites companies,’ said Wayne Frankhauser, of MDOT, who also serves as chairman of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ committee on fiber-reinforced polymer composites.

‘Our mission is to support industry in this region, to help them get products into the market,” Dr. Roberto Lopez-Anido says. ‘We’re also training students to get proficient in working with these products so that they have the skills to work at these Maine companies after they graduate.'”

Read the full article, here: