The general contractor, The Ruhlin Company, assembled the deck onsite. The construction team fastened the undersides of the composite profiles to the bridge’s steel structure using CCG’s stainless steel clamping system, which eliminates the need for drill holes and fasteners on the deck and creates a smooth, aesthetically pleasing surface.

Both bridges have an expected lifespan of 75 years.

“We’ve had complaints that people have used high-end, treated lumber decks and they failed within 10 years,” says Reeve. “People want sustainability. They want to be able to put it in and forget about it.” GFRP bridge decks are designed to deliver.

Melissa O’Leary is a freelance writer in Cleveland and a frequent visitor to North Coast Harbor and Kelleys Island. Email comments to


The North Coast Harbor pedestrian bridge showcases the benefits of lightweight GFRP decks, as well as their aesthetic appeal.

Photo Credit: Creative Composites Group

Made from 54 pultruded GFRP deck profiles, a pedestrian bridge on Kelleys Island in Lake Erie allows visitors a close-up view of the 400-foot-long, 30-foot wide, 10-foot deep Glacial Grooves Geological Preserve.

Photo Credit:  Jay Harris, Creative Composites Group