ORONO, Maine (AP) — U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will pay a visit Monday to the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center to get a firsthand look at a new process for reducing construction costs and time needed to build bridges.

The so-called “bridge in a backpack” process features a carbon fiber fabric that’s unfolded, inflated and coated with a resin at the job site. Then it’s fill with concrete.

Habib Dagher from UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center says the bridges are faster and cheaper to build, and last longer than conventional bridges.

LaHood was invited to come to Maine by U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud. LaHood will tour the composites center in Orono and see a laboratory demonstration of technology on Monday.

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