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Building of super-light 'plastic' bridge starts

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CONSTRUCTION OF Britain's first 'plastic' motorway overbridge is to start in Lancashire next week.

The £2M bridge across the M6 at Garstang will replace an under-strength 40-year-old structure which gives access to a local equestrian centre.

Mouchel-developed ASSET glass fire reinforced polymer pultruded 225mm deep sections will be used for the deck.

But the main beams will be 965mm deep steel plate girders.

Highways Agency Area 13 structures manager Philip Roddis said the new two span crossing would be built next to the existing four span structure.

'The two new 25.7m spans complete with decking and parapets will be constructed alongside the motorway then lifted into position in one operation.

'Each span weighs 200t, little more than half the weight of an equivalent steel/concrete composite alternative, even though it is designed to take full HA loading - the equivalent of a 40t HGV.' The UK's first plastic composite bridge deck was opened three years ago, on a B road in Oxfordshire. Mouchel sections were used there as well.

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