New Ohio Bridge Built Of Plastic

NORTH FAIRFIELD, Ohio (AP) - Because of what it's made of, a tiny bridge in northern Ohio is drawing a great attention from University of Toledo researchers.

The 17-foot span in Huron County is constructed of plastic, reinforced with fiberglass. Only the guardrails are made of metal.

Toledo civil engineering professor Douglas Nims and his students will monitor 16 sensors built into the bridge to gauge how well it holds up. Nims says per square foot, it's probably the most instrumented bridge in the world.

Huron County Engineer Joseph Kovach says the bridge over a Huron River tributary won't decay from road salt or rust. But he says before more bridges can be built of plastic, there are questions to be answered about how well they endure changing temperatures and sunlight exposure.