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Pioneering bridge construction technique takes out World Innovation in Bridge Engineering award

Jennifer Shand Jennifer Shand Australasia Press Office,Sydney
4 June 2018

An innovative steel, concrete and fiberglass bridge construction technique created by a team comprising The University of Queensland, RocketC, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Arup has won the inaugural World Innovation in Bridge Engineering (WIBE) award.

The award-winning innovation – a double skin tubular arch bridge – has the potential to reduce major bridgeworks projects from months or even years to just three days saving time, money and inconvenience.


Dilum Fernando from UQ working on the double skin tubular arch bridge in the University's lab Dilum Fernando from UQ working on the double skin tubular arch bridge in the University's lab

The new bridge design can be prefabricated, transported on a semi-trailer and erected without the need for specialised heavy lifting equipment overcame many challenges.

A case study for the award submission demonstrated that building a railway bridge overpass in Brisbane using this technology would take just 78 hours and save $120 million over the traditional build cost.

Arup is delighted to assist in the development of this innovative composite material designed to solve challenges in our communities. In addition this research has provided excellent practical experience to the many students who have helped fabricate, test and interpret the test results in the fantastic laboratories at UQ. ”

Peter Burnton Peter Burnton Australasia Bridges and Civil Structures Skills Leader

The competition prizemoney of $50,000 will be used to continue research into applications and improvements for the bridge technology.

The WIBE prize was sponsored by the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Porto in Portugal, and BERD, a project, research and engineering firm specialising in bridges.