July 25, 1997 is a landmark
day in Ohio transportation history. Today, the Butler County
Engineer's Office hosted a formal ceremony to dedicate Ohio's
first all-composite bridge, Tech
21 --- sometimes referred
to as the glass bridge.
Approximately 350 people
attended the occasion, which was held at the bridge site. Festivities
officially began at 11:00 a.m.; however, officials and dignitaries
from as far away as California began arriving as early as 8:00
Attending the ceremony were
several key speakers and composite experts, including Jay Tieber,
Executive Director, Ohio Department of Development, representing
Governor George Voinovich; Chris Runyan, Ohio Department of Transportation,
representing Jerry Wray, Director; Major General Richard Paul,
Director, Air Force Research Laboratory at Headquarters Air Force
Material Command; Jana Morford, District Representative for Ohio
Senator Mike DeWine; and, members of the Tech
Senator DeWine each issued
proclamations heralding the event as a positive contribution
to Ohio's transportation history and good for the economy. "This
structure exemplifies the success of public/private partnerships
in Ohio and indicates the state's continuous ability to create
a positive business climate for the high-technology industry,"
The new Tech 21 Bridge
is truly a bridge to the 21st century. It is Ohio's first vehicular
bridge built entirely of advanced composite materials, originally
designed for use in the aerospace industry. Glass fibers in a
polyester matrix were used in the construction of the bridge,
which is lightweight, corrosion resistant, stronger than steel,
and has a life expectancy of over 100 years -- more than twice
that of conventional concrete and steel bridges.
Health monitoring instrumentation
provides performance evaluation under actual field conditions.
This smart bridge will be monitored through a system of
computers at the Butler County Engineer's Office. Actual readings
will soon be accessible via this web site.
For additional technical
information, background, and photos of the Tech 21 Bridge,
please refer to our Technology
Tech 21 is the culmination of technology transfer
efforts among civil engineering and composite experts from the
Butler County Engineer's Office, Martin Marietta Materials, LJB
Engineers & Architects, and Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
It seeks to promote the use of high-tech fiber-reinforced composites
for common structural applications for the general public's benefit