Civil engineers at Queen's University in Belfast are set to begin work on the world's longest flatpack arch bridge. The engineers will make use of the FlexiArch system, developers over a decade ago by Professor Adrian Long in collaboration with the Macrete Ireland concrete company.
This bridge essentially maintains the principle and appearance of the classic Roman arch while simplifying its construction greatly. Conventional arch bridges feature tapered blocks cemented together on a form, but the FlexiArch system opts for pre-cast one-meter blocks that are set in lengths and supported by flexible polymeric membrane.
The flatpack arch bridge will be installed over Wallington River outside Portsmouth. It will span 16 meters in length and will take under a day to construct using a 220 - 330 ton crane.