Precast concrete specialist ABM Bridge Systems, the UK and Ireland licensee for the Matière modular bridge system, has developed the world’s first 14.5 metre span Matière box bridge. The pioneering Opti-Cadre design maximises available headroom. Able to span twin rail tracks, it is the ideal box bridge for rail projects where clearance safety margins are critical. The speed of erection of the Opti-Cadre structure also greatly reduces the possession time required.
The first large scale application for the 14.5 metre Opti-Cadre is on the newly opened Newry to Dundalk section of the A1/N1 Dublin to Belfast motorway, where this bridges the main rail lines. Here a 78 metre length overpass was constructed during 11 overnight possessions without significant disruption to the normal train service. Rapid completion of the bridge was crucial to the progress and on-time completion of the project, enabling the main contractor, a joint venture consortium consisting of SIAC construction and Ferovial Agroman (Ireland) Ltd, to proceed with the construction of the motorway embankments.
There are over 10,000 Matière installations in use around the world. The system is based on precision precast concrete modular elements comprising free standing walls and over bridging units. These simple and robust ground-interactive structures are quick to install and offer substantial savings over conventional in-situ construction. Once installed, Matière box bridge structures require only minimal maintenance.
Originally conceived as a concrete arch based system, the Matière box bridge variation is a design that has been extensively used by ABM and that has attracted lots of interest from engineers and contractors. Experience in the design and erection of scores of these structures has resulted in the development of the wide span 14.5 metre Opti-Cadre design to span twin rail tracks. Advanced computer-aided modelling techniques were used during development to provide an extended span, with maximum strength. The design has been independently verified by ARUP and has a model Approval in Principle from the UK Highways Agency.
ABM provides a complete service from concept and design through to manufacture and erection. In addition to Matière structures, the company can supply parapets, retaining walls and other precast elements required to complete the project. All design, manufacturing and on-site processes are subject to quality assurance procedures.
Release issued: August 31, 2007
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