JEC Group have brought together the international community of composites leaders and executives in our Composites Circle as an unique networking opportunity to meet with both peers and future partners.
Building elevated cycle expressways using FRP composite materials could enable cycling to become a central aspect of transport solutions for British cities over the coming decades. Cycling would not only be the fastest way to get about, but also one of the cheapest, healthiest, safest and most environmentally friendly while on the expressway.
(Published on August-September 2005 – JEC Magazine #19)
BY GERALD HODGSON, MANAGING DIRECTOR, SCYWAYS LTD
AND DAVID KENDALL, SPECIALIST STRUCTURES DIVISION, WHITE YOUNG GREEN
White Young Green (consultants to the built, natural and social environment), Fitzpatrick plc (a multidisciplinary construction organisation), and The Scyways Consortium have developed an innovative cycle expressway concept that addresses a basic problem, i.e. it is not generally possible to widen roads in cities to create additional space for cycles. The idea of creating an additional deck over existing carriageways is a concept which has not been generally explored. There are significant practical limitations to applying the concept for motor vehicles, but it is an entirely feasible option for lightweight cycles.
Advantages of using FRP:
A modular structure
The expressway would be constructed in modular units in the factory, allowing production costs to be reduced, manufacturing tolerances to be tight and – a crucial point – to ensure the structure can be erected in the minimum possible timeframe and with the minimum disruption to traffic flows and to the area in general. These modular units could be transported to the route and slotted onto pre-positioned supports.
The use of fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials is being investigated for the complete structure of the cycle expressway, except for the foundations and columns. Such materials would provide a very lightweight solution, fully factory finished, and enable rapid installations.
FRP composites have been accepted by the Highways Agency for use on structures such as bridges and motorway gantries. Their incredible durability provides significant savings in through-life costing by reducing maintenance requirements to a minimum.
The envisaged structure will have the following features: