The world’s first modular glass-fibre, reinforced plastic bridge has been launched by Arup with part-funding from the RSSB Rail Innovation Support Engine (RISE) scheme.
The post-tension bridge is designed to be assembled in hard to reach sites where large cranes or heavy machinery cannot be used and is quick and easy to install helping minimise disruption to surrounding communities reducing haulage and installation fees. The innovation, which is also funded by Arup’s Ventures initiative, can be used for a range of purposes from rail foot bridges to road and river spans providing the rail industry with a safer alternative to level crossings where traditional pedestrian bridges cannot be installed.
The bridge modules are one metre in length and are light enough to be transported by an articulated lorry, assembled on site and lifted from a distance. The bridge is 70 per cent lighter than those made from steel.
The first bridge was installed by Network Rail at a site in Oxford and Mabey have been announced as the first licensed distribution partner, offering customers the bridge under the brand name PESESTA.