Implementation of the Hillman Composite Beam in a Virginia Bridge

The Department of Transportation (DOT) will use an innovative hybrid composite girder, known as a Hillman Composite Beam (HCB), in the replacement of the Tide Mill Bridge in the Fredricksburg District. The existing bridge is a 40-foot span with a 45-degree skew. A Hillman Composite Beam has three main sub-components: a fiber-reinforced plastic shell; portland cement concrete pumped into an arched conduit as compression reinforcement; and carbon, glass or steel fibers anchored at the ends of the concrete compression arch for tension reinforcement. The new bridge will retain its existing abutments and not exceed the existing superstructure depth. The research will give a better understanding of the design and behavior of the Hillman Composite Beam, and its configuration will be optimized for durablility, cost efficiency and constructability. The HCB can conceivably replace standard rolled steel beams and timber deck design for short-span, low-volume bridges. Reduced maintenance costs should offset higher initial costs for use of HCB.