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Highways Agency to use Eurocodes from 2008

The Highways Agency is to start accepting design proposals based on the new Eurocodes for structures on the UK trunk road and motorway network as early as next year.
Although the new Eurocodes will not replace British Standards until March 2010, Agency head of structures Sibdas Chakrabarti said he was happy for the industry to start using the new codes as soon as the relevant national annexes for bridge design became available.

These national annex documents, which contain the UK specific design parameters necessary to use the codes, should all be published by the end of 2008.

But Chakrabarti told NCE's Structural Eurocodes conference last week that the annexes relating to bridge design could be ready as early as March 2008 enabling Eurocode designs to be prepared.

"They are the most advanced standards. For public authorities, Eurocodes will be the main design tool," he said. "We will be able to entertain proposals (designed in accordance with Eurocodes) in 2008."

However he added that the Agency would initially be considering the use of Eurocodes as a departure from standard. It would therefore require independent, Category 3 checks to be carried out for all new structures designed using the new codes.

These checks will be required until all the necessary documents are available to assist structural engineers.

The Highways Agency is working with other organisations to publish the important non-contradictory complementary information (NCCI) documents to assist designers. It hopes to publish an implementation standard introducing Eurocodes towards the end of 2008.

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