Footbridges highlight advantages of aluminium

Aluminium can stand up to the toughest maritime weather nature can throw at it.

July 9, 2010

Several pedestrian bridges over rivers and estuaries in England and Wales use aluminium extrusions from Hydro.

These outdoor projects in the U.K. highlight the outstanding qualities of aluminium, which not only is light in weight and resistant to corrosion, but is also easy to fabricate and install.

Rowecord Engineering Ltd. has utilized Hydro’s U.K. business to provide aluminium extrusion-based systems for decking on pedestrian bridges over the River Usk in Newport, Wales, and the River Severn near Worcester, England, among others.

Although Rowecord is primarily a structural steel company, Sobhan Farahani, senior bridge engineer, says that aluminium for the decking that sits on the bridge structure has several advantages.

“We’ve used the same system on three or four bridges now, with more coming up,” Farahani explains.

The panels interlock in a tongue-and-groove system that provides a firm, secure surface, and ease of installation, without welding.

In addition, after the extrusion process, the decking panels are given a serrated surface for a sure grip underfoot – important in an area that can get up to a meter of rainfall each year.

“You automatically get a maintenance-free anti-skid surface this way.” he adds.

Farahani says more projects with Hydro are in the pipeline. “My relationship with Hydro is fantastic. My contact is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. That’s a big plus to me.”

That contact person is Glenn McCrickerd, Development Manager with Hydro’s extrusion business based in Bedwas, Wales, and Birtley, near Newcastle in England.

“We work very closely with Rowecord and support them however we can,” says McCrickerd. “If you can answer all their questions and concerns about aluminium, you are on your way to winning the job.

“With regards to the River Usk Bridge, we worked with Rowecord to design a custom deck profile to meet the Consultant Engineer’s specific loading requirements. The relationship developed during that contract has continued to each others’ benefit."


Updated: October 11, 2016