Russian company shows interest in UMaine’s ‘backpack’ bridge

Posted Nov. 18, 2010, at 5:46 a.m.

ORONO, Maine — A Russian company wants to know more about the University of Maine’s “Bridge-in-a-Backpack” technology as it prepares for increased traffic during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The inflatable composite-concrete arch bridge technology is used on six bridges in Maine, with more planned across the country.

UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center and the private company Advanced Infrastructure Technologies LLC (AIT) are talking with the Russian company, Noviy Proekt, which is coordinating the $1.5 billion construction effort at the Olympic sites.

The Russian company is also considering the technology for use in railroad bridges and other public infrastructure construction in Russia and neighboring countries.

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The three parties are scheduled to meet on Friday to discuss a potential deal.

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