The Bridge of the Future is Here

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Centennial Contractors Enterprises completes work on the world’s first two train bridges made from 100% recycled materials.

Fort Eustis Transportation School, railroad locomotive, Fort Eustis,

Fort Eustis Transportation School locomotive approaches bridge, which was built to sustain 130 tons.

Centennial, our go to team, allowed us to use a design-build fast-track process to get into the hands of the new technology and allowed us to complete the process in half the time that we would have using conventional construction.

Last week, the world got its first look at recycled structural composite (RSC) train bridges. Centennial Contractors Enterprises built the bridges at Fort Eustis, VA where they perform renovation, repair and construction projects throughout the base through a Job Order Contract (JOC).

The new bridges, replace two existing wood bridges built in the fifties on Fort Eustis’s vast railroad system. The transportation school on the base uses the rail system to train soldiers on train operations.

RSC is a composite material that is made of recycled plastics such as milk jugs and old tires. Building bridges with this new material proved only slightly different from using convention materials.

“You don’t need special tools to work with it,” explained Bart DeForest, senior project manager at Centennial.

“No one has dealt with this material in construction yet, so the biggest difference was the learning curve for all involved. We found out that the material is more durable and easier to handle, and didn’t require as large of equipment to move it into place,” added DeForest.

In addition, the bridges require very little maintenance and have the same life expectancy as conventional bridges. The RSC does not leach chemicals or toxins.

“This has been a great project. It was a winning situation between Fort Eustis and our contracting team,” said Phil Reed, Fort Eustis DPW Engineering Division chief. “Not only will it cut our maintenance cost for years to come, but it will last longer than the 57-year-old bridge we removed.”

Through JOC, Centennial had the flexibility to design the custom solution for Fort Eustis. It used Design-Build which allowed it to take on more project responsibility by developing the design proposal as well as pinpoint experts in industry and worked more closely with them.

“Centennial, our go to team, allowed us to use a design-build fast-track process to get into the hands of the new technology and came up with this for a better alternative for the long term and allowed us to complete the process in half the time that we would have using conventional construction,” added Reed.

Centennial worked with RSC manufacturer, Axion International as well as Parsons Brinckerhoff, Innovative Green Solutions and English Construction Company to complete the project. The construction started in November 2009 and was completed in May 2010, two months ahead of schedule.

In addition to safety, sustainability is Centennial’s top initiative. Currently over 10% of its work force are LEED® Accredited Professionals. It has worked on numerous sustainable construction projects around the county including the Ft. Bragg Courthouse, NASA Johnson Space Center and Ft. Lewis in Washington State.

Job Order Contracting programs allow for public funded organizations to develop solutions collaboratively with contractors, subcontractors and new materials manufacturers. The ability to jointly scope the solution allows for open communications and creative solutions.

About Centennial Contractors Enterprises
For more than 20 years, Centennial Contractors Enterprises, Inc., has been a leader in providing responsive construction solutions supporting government, educational and business facilities and infrastructures, with projects focused on renovation, rehabilitation and repair, including adding sustainable systems into its clients’ existing facilities. Centennial has 40 offices across the country. To learn more, go to or follow Centennial on Twitter @centennialnow and

Editor’s Note: This release is available at Centennial’s Newsroom,

David Carrithers


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