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A heavily skewed single span underbridge on the A38 Liskard bypass in Cornwall is being strengthened by external carbon fibre reinforced polymer links - the first use of the technique in the UK.

The bridge has been propped since a Highways Agency assessment showed that the deck edge zones had inadequate shear strength to resist both torsional and flexural shear forces.

Sika's Carboshear strengthening system was developed in Switzerland and features preformed CFRP L-shaped links 1.2mm thick and 40mm wide bonded to the deck edge and soffit with epoxy adhesive.

CFRP plate bonding is an established technique for the strengthening of bridge beams deficient in bending resistance, but this is the first time the Highways Agency has carried out trials on the use of CFRP for shear reinforcement.

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