Dagher testifies in Congressional hearing about bolstering transportation infrastructure resilience 

Habib Dagher, director of the Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC) and Transportation Infrastructure Durability Center (TIDC), at the University of Maine, testified on May 13 during the Congressional hearing titled Rethinking Disaster Recovery and Resiliency, Part I: Protecting Our Nation’s Transportation Systems. 

Dagher spoke before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies, in Washington, D.C. at the request of its ranking member, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins. A recording of the hearing can be found online

In his testimony, Dagher stressed the importance of investing in research and development to bolster the resilience of roads, bridges, ports and other transportation infrastructure in the U.S. To emphasize his point, he described four examples of the innovations developed at the ASCC: the Composite Arch Bridge System, also known as the Bridge-in-a-Backpack; composite tub U-shaped girder technology; 3D-printed breakwaters that are lightweight and portable and protect coastal assets; and biobased, 3D-printed culvert diffusers that reduce roadway storm damage.    

“Sen. Collins has led the Transportation THUD Subcommittee and I very much appreciated her invitation to highlight UMaine’s research. With the new infrastructure bill, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to use more durable, more sustainable, more advanced materials — including composite materials — as we rebuild our roads and bridges and create a more resilient and cost-effective transportation system of the future,” Dagher said. “We can’t keep building it the same way and expect a different result. That’s why Sen. Collins’ IMAGINE Act is so important. At the ASCC, our research has led to innovations that extend the life of bridges with little maintenance using composite materials.”   

Contact: Meghan Collins, 207.852.8414; mc@maine.edu