• New prod­uct 'bridges' gap

Engi­neered sub­sti­tute for tra­di­tional hard­wood deck­ing of­fer­ing an eco­nom­i­cally sound al­ter­na­tive

Australasian Timber - - FRONT PAGE -

BIG RIVER Tim­bers, an all Aus­tralian-fam­ily owned com­pany that has been sup­ply­ing tim­ber prod­ucts for well over 100 years, has launched 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.

Bridge Ply prod­ucts are de­signed and man­u­fac­tured to meet all rel­e­vant Aus­tralian Stan­dards, as well as our own in­ter­nal qual­ity con­trol stan­dards. BRG’s in­no­va­tive pres­sure distri­bu­tion sys­tem de­liv­ers rapid, sta­ble and even pres­sure across glue lines max­imis­ing panel strength.

The Big River Group is an Aus­tralian fam­ily-owned com­pany with a his­tory of more than 100 years in the tim­ber in­dus­try. Third and fourth gen­er­a­tion mem­bers of the found­ing Pid­cock fam­ily re­main ac­tively in­volved in the com­pany. Big River is one of the largest pri­vate tim­ber man­u­fac­tur­ing and mar­ket­ing busi­nesses in Aus­tralia, with a di­verse busi­ness servicing all Aus­tralian States as well as in­ter­na­tional projects.

All tim­ber pro­cessed by Big River is sourced from sus­tain­ably man­aged plan­ta­tion and re­growth forests which have Aus­tralian Forestry Stan­dard Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Big River has Chain of Cus­tody cer­ti­fi­ca­tion un­der Aus­tralian Forestry Stan­dard AS 4707. Big River Sydney Branch is Chain of Cus­tody (CoC) cer­ti­fied un­der the For­est Stew­ard­ship Coun­cil (FSC) cer­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber SACOC-002336.

In line with the vi­sion to max­imise the value of ev­ery log pro­cessed, Big River has in­stalled an in­dus­try lead­ing co-gen­er­a­tion elec­tric­ity plant, where man­u­fac­tur­ing wood waste is used to cre­ate re­new­able en­ergy on site, thereby greatly re­duc­ing the com­pany’s re­quire­ment to source en­ergy from the grid. This power plant is of­fi­cially reg­is­tered with the Of­fice of Re­new­able En­ergy, and also qual­i­fies for Re­new­able En­ergy Cred­its (RECs), an of­fi­cial recog­ni­tion of the pro­duc­tion of “green en­ergy”.

Man­u­fac­tur­ing op­er­a­tions are head­quar­tered at Grafton, in north­ern NSW, em­ploy­ing some 160 peo­ple, where a range of hard­wood and pine re­source is pro­cessed into var­i­ous tim­ber prod­ucts. The modern rotary ve­neer fac­tory is Aus­tralia’s only val­ueadded pro­ces­sor of hard­wood re­source. In 2008, Big River also com­menced steel roll form­ing at Grafton.

The Ausply plant at Wagga Wagga, NSW, was es­tab­lished in 1958 and is part of the Big River Group.

In 2007, the Ausply plant was ex­ten­sively up­graded to pro­vide the ca­pa­bil­ity to de­velop the in­no­va­tive and mar­ket lead­ing cus­tom ply­wood range of prod­ucts.

All Ausply ply­wood is man­u­fac­tured from man­aged re­growth and plan­ta­tion for­est tim­bers, with full Chain of Cus­tody cer­ti­fi­ca­tion un­der AS 4707. Ausply man­u­fac­tures struc­tural ply­wood to AS/NZS 2269.

Prod­ucts are man­u­fac­tured and stress graded to the Aus­tralian Stan­dards and cer­ti­fied by the Engi­neered Wood Prod­ucts As­so­ci­a­tion of Aus­trala­sia (EWPAA).

Prod­ucts car­ry­ing the PAA stamp are man­u­fac­tured and prod­uct cer­ti­fied un­der the EWPAA’s third party au­dited qual­ity con­trol pro­gram.

Big River also owns and man­ages sales and distri­bu­tion op­er­a­tions in Sydney, Illawarra, Bris­bane, Townsville, Sun­shine Coast, Mel­bourne, Ade­laide and Perth, servicing the con­struc­tion and building in­dus­try as well as the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor with a di­verse range of tim­ber prod­ucts and other as­so­ci­ated con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als. These prod­ucts are sourced from Big River man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties and from other lead­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers of tim­ber and building prod­ucts. These op­er­a­tions em­ploy some 100 staff, mak­ing the Big River Group a fully in­te­grated op­er­a­tion, from the sourc­ing of logs from State Forests of NSW, through to the sale of the fin­ished prod­uct to the end cus­tomer.

Cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture in re­cent times has fo­cused on state-ofthe-art pro­cess­ing equip­ment, which is fun­da­men­tal to the fu­ture of the busi­ness and Big River’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to re­main an in­dus­try leader.

De­signed and man­u­fac­tured to meet all rel­e­vant Aus­tralian Stan­dards

Bridge­ply ... the saviour of many old bridges.

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