The IMAGINE Act encourages composite materials use for infrastructure applications

The IMAGINE Act (Innovative Materials for America’s Growth and Infrastructure Newly Expanded) was recently reintroduced in the US Senate. First introduced in 2019, The IMAGINE Act encourages the research into and deployment of innovative, advanced construction materials — including composites — in transportation and water infrastructure projects, across the country. This potential investment in alternative building techniques and materials is a promising step toward helping extend the life of critical infrastructure.

Grist Mill Bridge Construction in Hampen, ME, using Composite GBeam technology
Grist Mill Bridge Construction in Hampen, ME, using Composite GBeam technology

Recently, the Biden Administration stated that 1 in 3 bridges in the US are in need of repair or replacement, a chilling statistic that must be reversed. Maine’s Senator Susan Collins along with Rhode Island’s Sheldon Whitehouse are leading the reintroduction of the IMAGINE Act legislation to support federal investment in bridge and water infrastructure projects that use innovative materials, like the composite materials we use in our bridge construction projects.

Here in Maine we have a vested interest. Senator Collins said:

“Engineers in Maine and across the country are developing exciting new ways to improve our infrastructure by using innovative, resilient, and cost-effective materials and techniques, including those found in the forest products industry. The University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center is at the forefront of efforts to use 3D printing, cellulose, and other cutting-edge materials and techniques to transform every sector of our economy, from manufacturing to our transportation network. The invaluable work being done by the recently-established Transportation Infrastructure Durability Center, a consortium of universities led by UMaine, would also benefit from the investments included in the bill. The IMAGINE Act will help foster this important research and translate it into practice.”

The senators are also aiming to create a task force to review the standards and practices used to assess the federal government’s approval of materials for infrastructure projects, create a grant program for the use of innovative materials and increase federal investment in bridge and water infrastructure projects that utilize innovative materials. We’ll be watching closely for the outcome in this legislative session.

You can read more about the legislation here:

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