Manufactured by Hardcore Composites, the wedge-shaped, fiberglass fairings are composed of glass and polyester sandwich panels connected with a foam core. Each fairing acts similar to an airplane wing that allows the wind to circulate the deck, protecting it against heavy winds, thus reducing movement. Compared to the steel trusses, the fairings used aerodynamics to stabilize the bridge rather than redirect external forces.
In total, the bridge utilizes 7,400 feet of composite material. At the time of construction, Whitestone Bridge was said to be able to withstand the onslaught of a category one hurricane. It is anticipated that Irene will downgrade from a category three hurricane to a category one by the time it hits New York late Saturday evening. Come Sunday morning, New Yorkers will get a first-hand view of how composites can withstand the test of time, and Mother Nature.