Under Cover: Bridge made of recycled plastics to span 50 years

Onion Ditch Bridge supports zero-waste goal

Onion Ditch Bridge

Reaching over Onion Ditch in Logan County, Ohio, is the appropriately and simply named Onion Ditch Bridge. Although it is not remarkably named or remarkably long, it is remarkable in its composition: The materials used to make the Axion STRUXURE™ infrastructure building products are 100 percent recycled, including postconsumer plastic detergent bottles, shampoo bottles, and milk jugs, and postindustrial car bumpers and dashboards.

Logan County Engineer Scott Coleman stated that durability and an expected life span of over 50 years weighed into the decision to use the recycled structural composite as well as the environmental benefits of using recycled materials.

The startling realization that petroleum-based plastic food containers have life spans of up to hundreds of years in landfills has prompted many to recycle plastic. The Logan County community has set a goal to be a zero-waste county by 2020.

“Advancements in technology are creating new economics and feasibility around recycled building materials,” said Axion President and CEO Steve Silverman.

STRUXURE bridges are engineered from Axion’s patented recycled plastic formulation using 100 percent recycled consumer and industrial plastics. Because the recycled structural composite material is inert, bridges made with it will not rot or absorb moisture, and they are impervious to insect infestation.

The structural building materials are used to construct short-span vehicular bridges, multispan superstructures, and boardwalks.

The 24.6-foot-long Onion Ditch Bridge is only the second bridge of its kind on a public road; the other is in York, Maine. The bridge was completed May 29.

Axion International Inc., 180 South St., Suite 104, New Providence, NJ 07974, 908-542-0888, info@axih.com, www.axionintl.com/products-composite-bridges.html

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