Big River Timbers announces a new building product designed to provide a lifeline for old timber bridges.

Tens of thousands of ageing timber bridges throughout regional Australia are heading towards the end of their structural lives, leaving local governments and councils struggling to bring regional infrastructure to an adequate standard. In the absence of plywood bridge deck systems, councils have been forced to reduce speed limits on the roads; however, this serves only as a patchwork solution for about 30,000 timber bridges that are currently deemed unsafe.

Until now councils have been relying on steel or concrete alternatives to replace and repair their timber bridges, which come at a significantly increased cost. Consequently timber bridges have continued to deteriorate with the volume of maintenance. Timber bridges are also critical components of local transportation infrastructure; however, the dilapidated bridges are unable to meet the service needs of the users. Burdened by maintenance costs, councils continue to struggle towards a solution that will save rural communities from being cut off entirely.

A solution to rehabilitate timber bridges that are in desperate need of repair or replacement is now available in the form of a new plywood bridge deck system called Bridgeply.

Launched recently by national timber specialist and major plywood manufacturer, Big River Group, Bridgeply is an engineered substitute for traditional hardwood decking offering an economically sound alternative. Bridgeply can effectively extend the safety, lifespan and capacity of ageing timber bridges with considerable cost saving for councils and at a significantly reduced rate of construction.

The Bridgeply system can replace damaged and deteriorated timber without having to replace the bridge entirely, offering a more accessible solution to local governments and councils struggling to maintain these structures.

A retrofit solution that can help extend the life of timber bridges by decades, Bridgeply plywood bridge deck systems will not only provide significant cost savings of material in bridge rehabilitation work but the lightweight handling allows installation to be carried out without losing too much time and with minimal disruption to traffic. The strength and sturdiness of Bridgeply components reinforce areas of weakness without having to replace the entire bridge.

Manufactured in Australia from sustainable timbers, Bridgeply plywood bridge deck system offers a reliable and economical alternative to hardwood, steel and concrete decks needed to repair, refurbish or replace ageing timber bridges.

Bridgeply plywood bridge deck systems will serve as a replacement for bridge decking where suitable lengths of solid hardwood timber are not available. Maintaining a width of 1200mm, lengths and thicknesses can be made to meet specifications offering great flexibility in design. Particularly effective for smaller bridges, Bridgeply is cross-laminated to ensure even distribution of longitudinal and lateral stiffness.

Bridgeply plywood bridge deck systems are lighter in mass than concrete and steel and therefore easier to manoeuvre and use; compatible with a variety of support structures; manufactured from Australian plantation pine; envelope treated to H4; and stress graded to F11.

One of the largest private timber manufacturing and marketing businesses in Australia, servicing all states and many international projects, the Big River Group has more than 110 years in the timber industry.