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

Abby  Workers from Stetson & Watson contractors maneuver a carbon fiber tube over the Little River in Belfast on Wednesday, Sept. 22. The Herrick Road bridge, when completed, will be the largest so-called &quotbridge in a backpack" built in Maine. (Abigail Curtis/BDN)
Abby Workers from Stetson & Watson contractors maneuver a carbon fiber tube over the Little River in Belfast on Wednesday, Sept. 22. The Herrick Road bridge, when completed, will be the largest so-called "bridge in a backpack" built in Maine. (Abigail Curtis/BDN)
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.

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

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