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Rapid assembly bridge revealed in world first

GFRP post tensioned modular bridge

A world-first modular glass fibre reinforced plastic bridge has been unveiled.

Designed by Arup, and part-funded by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), the first bridge has been installed in Oxford for Network Rail. The bridge is a safer alternative to level crossings where a traditional pedestrian bridge cannot be installed, as it is designed to be assembled in sites where cranes or heavy machinery cannot be used.

Bridge provider Mabey has named the bridge “Pedesta”, and will be the first licensed distribution partner for the product. It is made up of 1m long sections which can be fixed together with bolted shear connectors to reach up to 30m in length.

The deck is then post-tensioned with tendons running through the modules to pull them tightly together. As the material is 70% lighter than steel, the sections can be moved using forklift trucks and then assembled onsite.

“This modular bridge is quick and easy to install, minimises disruption to the surrounding communities and significantly reduces ongoing maintenance costs,” said Arup associate Rebecca Stewart

“We can see this bridge being useful for a whole host of global applications – from rail footbridges to road and river spans. It is great to have partnered with Mabey and for them to have become our first licensed partner.”

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