Masonry arches are strong, durable, aesthetically pleasing and largely maintenance free, yet since 1900 there has been a dramatic decline in their use. However, designers, contractors and clients now have access to a new method of constructing arches incorporating precast concrete voussoirs interconnected via polymeric reinforcement and a concrete screed. No centring is necessary, as the FlexiArch, when it is lifted, transforms under the forces of gravity into the desired arch shape. After discussing general aspects of innovation, the basic concept of the arch bridge system is presented along with technological advances since it was patented. Experiences gained from building over 40 FlexiArch bridges in the UK and Ireland and from model and full-scale tests carried out to validate the system during installation and in service are described. Thus under load the system behaves like a traditional masonry arch and existing analysis methods can be used for design and assessment.
- field testing & monitoring
- service life