A timber formwork manufacturer has released a specially engineered timber bridge system for Australia's regional communities.
For many regional towns, bridges are the only way in and out of the community. When a bridge is damaged, the impact on the local community can be significant, particularly if the bridge is one of only a handful of access points connecting the region. There are around 30,000 timber bridges in service throughout the country, but heavier and faster moving vehicles, plus fire damage, have deteriorated or damaged these bridges beyond repair.
Big River Group has developed an engineered timber system consisting of bridge decking, girders, headstocks and corbels along with many other engineered sections that replace existing timbers size-for-size. Its structural-grade engineered plywood bridge deck system acts as an alternative to steel and concrete desks and is both less expensive and faster to install. The system is an engineered substitute for traditional hardwood decking and is manufactured to AS/NZS 2269-2008 from sustainable Australian plantation pine.
The key feature of the Big River Engineered Bridge Decking, says a release, is that it is manufactured in continuous lengths to the full width of a bridge, hence providing excellent load distribution utilising the full structure and extensively extending the life of existing structures when used as a deck replacement.
When the full system is used with the combination of Engineered LVL (laminated veneer lumber) girders, headstocks and corbels, this delivers a full bridge system that complies with loadings and AS:5100 T44 deflection limits as well as M1600.
The larger size of bridge ply helps to absorb much of the extra vibration of heavy vehicles, while also tying together the other timber components of the bridge better than solid hardwood planks. The material holds fire resistant qualities, which have the ability to withstand temperatures that reach 1000 degrees celsius for up to 50 minutes.