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* News Release *
Friday, July 25, 1997
For Immediate Release


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 a.m.

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 21 Team.

Governor Voinovich and 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," Voinovich stated.

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 page.

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 and safety.

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