Axion International Holdings has won a $957,000 contract to provide the U.S. Army with two bridges made from a thermoplastic composite and recycled plastic.
The two bridges, which are replacing old wooden ones, will be constructed at Fort Eustis in Virginia from a proprietary Recycled Structural Composite (RSC) developed by Axion in conjunction with scientists at Rutgers University.
The railroad cross-ties will be made entirely of a plastic composed of recycled materials from both consumer and industrial plastic waste…
The location is significant. Fort Eustis is home to the U.S. Army Transportation Corps, the branch of the Army responsible for coordinating the movement of personnel and cargo. The Fort Eustis motto is Einstein’s famous quote “Nothing happens, until something moves.” It’s also the location of the U.S. Army Transportation Museum.
But this is not the first military bridge to be made out of plastic by Axion for the military. The Army has previously built plastic bridges for Fort Bragg and Camp Mackall in North Carolina using materials and structural design that allowed for a bearing load of 73 tons for tracked vehicles and 88 tons for cars and trucks. To demonstrate its strength a 70-ton M1A1 Abrams tank was driven across the bridge at its official unveiling in September.
The Pentagon moves forward into the realm of common sense, recycling, 21st Century design.
Skeptics, of course, will stick with coal-fired locomotives and other objects and ideology suitable only for theme parks.