A short video that explains how an existing closed footbridge in Colinton Dell was refurbished using the latest FRP bridge technology by Lifespan Structures

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Spectacular footage from drone of newly installed Lifespan FRP bridge decks

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Colinton Dell is a steep-sided gorge and wildlife refuge on the Water of Leith, just north of the old village of Colinton on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
Today walkways and a cycle path take visitors to the ruined Redhall Mill and past Kate's Mill, where paper for the Bank of Scotland's first banknotes is said to have been made.
As a result of a Lifespan e news letter campaign in the autumn of last year we received an enquiry from the Mott MacDonald team in Edinburgh.

After several on line meetings and an on site visit we developed a solution for the Client Edinburgh City Council and introduced CRL Scotland to the project team as a specialist contractor that was capable of delivering the project.

Following a tender process in early 2023 CRL Scotland were awarded the project valued at circa £250,000 as reported in March of this year

The objective of the project was to provide a replacement deck for the existing Colinton Dell Rustic Footbridge with a design life of 120 years. The existing timber deck on the footbridge was in very poor condition and a new Lifespan Structures (FRP) deck was designed, manufactured & installed by CRL Scotland as a replacement so that the bridge can be re-opened in July of this year

Due to the very challenging location of the site the CRL team came up with a carefully thought out plan as to how they would remove the old bridge and be able to safely install the new Lifespan FRP deck sections.

Additional challenges for the team included a high pressure gas main adjacent to the existing bridge, the steepness of the Dell either side of the bridge location and that everything had to come through the famous Colinton Dell Tunnel.

The new Lifespan Structures FRP deck was designed in house to conform with a specification provided by Mott MacDonald. The new deck of approximately 28m span was supplied in 5 sections of 5.7m long x 2.5m wide and 65mm thick that are mechanically fixed onto the existing longitudinal steel beams, that are in good condition. A new 1.5m high galvanised steel parapet was also be installed.

Watch the video here of the completed bridge
https://youtu.be/7F7L-bdyUPE

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Due to economic & climate considerations Clients demand ever more sustainable options when trying to repair or extend the life of their bridges rather than its complete replacement. Bridges often require repairs and eventually wholescale replacement of key structural elements during its service life & these can be very expensive and disruptive to the users of the bridge. Perhaps the most disruptive and costly is that of the deck replacement which could be steel, concrete or a timber deck for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicle trafficking.

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Our first project of this kind in the UK has been sucessfully completed after extensive work by the Lifespan team with the Client, Forestry England the largest landowner in England. The Lifespan bridges provide a far more sustainable, cost effective and durable bridge deck solution than has been historically achieved using traditional building materials whilst also reducing the carbon footprint and energy embodiment in the bridge structures. The 2 new Lifespan resin infused FRP bridges were designed to BS EN 1991-2 [Ref 4.N] load model LM1 & LM2 which is also fully compliant with the latest DMRB standards and capable of withstanding trafficking by fully laden 44T logging HGV lorries.

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Almost 7 years ago one of our Local Authority Clients issued a tender for a project that required a new simply supported 8m single span bridge of 1m width with a standard anti climb parapet. A variety of typical bridge construction types were permitted including steel, timber and an alternative using Lifespan resin infused FRP composites. With input from the Client additional considerations were made as to the likely cost and regularity of maintenance works for each of the possible bridge types in order to ascertain a whole life cost for each of the options.

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As 2022 continues to be an extremely busy time for Lifespan Structures we are pleased to announce that Steven Dunn has recently joined to further strengthen our specialist team. A civil engineer with over 25 years of experience in providing technical and commercial support to Clients, specifiers and contractors he has strong knowledge in specialist areas including structural concrete repair, structural strengthening utilising carbon fibre plate (CFRP), composites, adhesives & ultra-high modulus plates.

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Composites used for FRP bridge

Working together with our sister company Concrete Repairs Limited, and our various other supply chain partners, a new 12.5m by 3.0m wide bridge has been installed. Initially Lifespan Structures were originally commissioned to produce an outline design to allow the Client to carry out the necessary consultation with the relevant statutory bodies, and subsequently develop this to a detailed design ready for the construction phase. The Client’s framework contractor employed Concrete Repairs Ltd to carry out the installation of the new bridge, including new foundations, lifting operations and attachment of parapet.

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Introduction to FRP Bridges

We are busy taking bookings for our technical seminars which can be conducted at Clients offices / hybrid or on-line to suit individual requirements. The two key presentations available are:
Bridging The Gap An introduction & history of composites in construction, the feasibility / design / supply & installation of recent Lifespan resin infused FRP bridge case studies, financial & economic benefits versus traditional materials
The Lifespan Bridge Management Service Tailored to the requirements of all bridge owners and stakeholders the CPD identifies the key actions required during the life of a footbridge, from initial concept to end of service and everything in between.

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