The bridge.
The bridge.

The bridge is 12 m long and 5 m wide with a total weight of 7 tonnes and a maximuml load of 45 tonnes. The hand rails can bear a horizontal load of 3 kN/m of rail.

The engineering work on the bridge was carried out by Lightweight Structures BV, the Netherlands. The company used a sandwich composite structure based on BALTEK® SB.150 balsa core material from Alcan Composites Core Materials, glass multiaxial reinforcements and a polyester resin.

All parts were made using the vacuum infusion process by Lightweight Structures BV in Delft. They were then shipped to Meerkeerk, where the bridge was assembled and the wear layers and hand rails were mounted, before final installation in Utrecht. The installation of the bridge took only a few hours and other road construction work took about 3 days.

This is the latest of several BALTEK cored composites bridges designed and built by Lightweight Structures BV.

According to Alcan Composites Core Materials, the project is meant to be the pioneer for further bridge substitution projects in the Netherlands where a number of wooden bridges from the 1970s will have to be replaced within the next few years. Further potential for these composite bridge decks is seen in markets such as Belgium and Germany as well as the USA and Japan.