The circular bridge design is set to “revolutionise” how bridges are built over railway lines, say Network Rail.
These bridges are made from lightweight Fibre-Reinforced Polymer, which is widely used in the aerospace and automotive industries with great success.
Installation of the new bridges takes a matter of days due to the material being so light that transport and installation of the bridge is much more efficient and cost-effective, and all of this is great news as it will lead to less disruption for passengers.
Other exciting features of the bridge are its modular design, which means it is easily adapted to different locations and even more impressive is that the bridge will feature built-in monitoring to monitor usage and maintenance needs.
Andy Cross, Network Rail Programme Manager, said “We were able to take a different approach. This has allowed us to work with several small and medium-sized businesses, many of whom haven't worked on railway projects before but have the skills and expertise to bring the concept of a lightweight, low-cost footbridge to life.
“In just 11 months we have developed a prototype bridge that is stunning in design, environmentally friendly and will take days and not weeks to install and thereby causing less disruption for the surrounding community.”
It is hoped that the new bridge design will be rolled out across the country as part of the project which aims to transform how footbridges are built on the rail network in future. The next phase of the project will include a ramped version of the bridge to support those with impaired mobility.
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