Legislation would urge use of innovative materials in construction

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Bipartisan legislation recently introduced in the U.S. Senate would encourage research and deployment of innovative construction materials in transportation and water infrastructure projects.

The Innovative Materials for America’s Growth and Infrastructure Newly Expanded (IMAGINE) Act would create a task force to examine standards and methods used to assess the federal government’s approval of materials for infrastructure projects.

In addition, the task force would promote research into new materials and building techniques, and spur federal investment in bridge and water infrastructure projects that utilize innovative materials.

Under the bill, the U.S. secretary of transportation would be instructed to create innovative materials hubs nationwide.

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME)and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced the bill which has been endorsed by the American Composites Manufacturers Association and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

“Leveraging the skills of engineers in Maine and across the country, the IMAGINE Act would support innovative research of construction materials and techniques to help revitalize our nation’s manufacturing and transportation infrastructure,” Collins said. “By investing in cutting-edge materials and methods, like those being pioneered at the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, we can extend the lifespan of critical public works, improve their performance, increase construction efficiency, and stimulate job creation.”