• New product 'bridges' gap
Engineered substitute for traditional hardwood decking offering an economically sound alternative
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.