Heavy-duty bridges in wood for more sustainability in infrastructure construction

31.01.2022 A wooden bridge with a span of 40 metres and a load-bearing capacity of up to 40 tonnes: together with industrial partners, researchers from the Institute for Timber Construction, Structures and Architecture IHTA at Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH are conducting a feasibility study, which will determine how such a heavy-duty bridge in wood can be turned into reality.

Switzerland’s nearly 2255-kilometre-long national road network includes 4270 bridges or, in other terms, approximately two bridges per kilometre of road, most of which are made of steel and concrete. Wood, on the other hand, is currently only included in approximately 3% of the load-bearing structure, even though this versatile material presents significant potential for the construction of heavy-duty bridges. Researchers from the Institute for Timber Construction, Structures and Architecture IHTA at Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH are currently conducting an 18-month feasibility study with industrial partners to determine how such an infrastructure project can be carried out. They see in the construction of wooden bridges for road traffic an opportunity for decarbonisation of infrastructure construction, which in turn would mean a big step towards climate neutrality.

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