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Composite railway bridge construction
Plymouth-based Pipex px, a supplier of composite and thermoplastic products for construction projects, has manufactured a Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) footbridge to replace its steel predecessor.
The footbridge, being installed at Dawlish railway station on the South Devon seafront, is reportedly the first FRP bridge to be installed ‘in station’ as well as the first Grade II listed FRP bridge.
Pipex px states safety concerns were raised after the existing steel footbridge structure at Dawlish station suffered severe corrosion damage due to its close proximity to the seafront and subsequent harsh marine environment. In addition to corrosion of the main girders and roof structure, the original timber decking had rotted and the protective paintwork had broken down.
Network Rail engineers considered a number of alternative solutions, including a complete refurbishment, but Pipex px states its FRP fabrication was concluded to be the ideal solution for the project.
Pipex px manufactured the Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) footbridge for the Grade 2 listed rail station, with its design team able to successfully replicate the look of the original 1930s steel bridge.
Pipex px states the extreme durability and corrosion resistant properties of its FRP ensures that the new structure will require minimal maintenance once installed, significantly reducing overall expenditure during its design life. Significantly more lightweight than traditional steel, the Pipex px FRP bridge offers fast track installation, reducing disruption to services and customers.
Testing work has been carried out and it is hoped that the project will be fully completed by the end of November 2012.