Fiber reinforced polymer, or FRP, is a relatively new product in the bridge construction process. FRP is a lightweight, durable material that provides tremendous value during the construction of pedestrian, equestrian, and lightweight vehicle bridges. 

This article will explain FRP, the various uses of fiber reinforced polymers in bridge construction, and some of its benefits. 

What is Fiber Reinforced Polymer?

FRP is a structural fiberglass that uses a manufacturing process called pultrusion. Pultrusion is a molding process that pulls glass strands through a die and embedded in a polymer, making a strong, durable product that offers multiple uses for structural applications. Watch the pultrusion process here

Why FRP bridges?

An FRP bridge has a 100+ year design life and requires minimal maintenance. This durable material is easy to transport (unlike other bridge materials), making it the ideal solution for remote or hard-to-access bridge locations. 

Learn More About FRP

Learn about FRP bridges and our latest FRP bridge projects.

Various Uses of Fiber Reinforced Polymers in Bridge Construction

You can incorporate FRP bridge material into different bridges and decking projects. 


  • Pedestrian bridges
  • Equestrian bridges 
  • Lightweight vehicle bridges
  • Decking 
    • Bridge decking
    • Boardwalks 
    • House decks
    • Mezzanines 
    • Stair treads 

The Ideal Bridge Material 

The FRP material contains many traits that make it the ideal bridge material. Some of its traits include:

  • Corrosion-resistant 
  • Durable
  • Lightweight 
  • Maintenance-free 
  • 100+ lifespan 

3 Benefits for FRP Bridges

FRP is the valuable material with several benefits over other bridge materials typically used for pedestrian bridges.

  1. Initial Cost

The initial cost for FRP materials is higher than other materials. Still, the overall life cycle costs are usually less and boast a 100+ year lifespan. 

  1. Weighs Less Than Other Materials

FRP bridge components weigh less than 125 pounds each. Components can be hand-carried or airlifted into remote sites. The entire bridge can easily be constructed with hand tools and doesn’t require any heavy equipment. 

  1. Unique Design Constraints 

FRP is approximately 60% of the tensile and compressive strength of steel. It has approximately 10% of the modulus of elasticity, so it provides some unique design constraints. 

FRP’s properties mean that it’s quite strong; however, it can deflect significantly. The Areté Structures team adjusts for this by building mechanical camber into the bridge so that there is no “sagging” in the bridge. 

Is FRP the Best Material for Your Next Bridge Project?

At Areté Structures, we partner exclusively with Strongwell, the world’s largest FRP manufacturer, to bring this material to you. If you’re ready to start your next project, contact us. The Areté Structures team will help you assess your bridge requirements and provide you with a quote on your next bridge project!