100 Fibre reinforced polymer bridges will replace existing structures in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The first series of these bridges has been inaugurated in the Ijsselmonde district of Rotterdam, on the south bank of the river Nieuwe Maas.In that district alone, a further 16 bridges will be replaced. The replacements are seen as necessary because the existing timber bridges are in poor condition. In total, the city will be replacing 100 bridges with fibre-reinforced-polymer (FRP) structures, before the end of 2014.
The material used for the new bridges is InfraCore, which was developed by FiberCore Europe, which is based in Rotterdam. The company says that by using FRP to create the bridges, they will have a design life of at least 60 years, in comparison with only 25 years for timber bridges. The FRP will not rot and corrode and is not susceptible to the usual environmental impacts bridges sustain. As a result, the bridges require virtually no maintenance. The bridges will be installed by the main contractor, Wallaard Noordeloos.
The bridge designs contain subtle references to the original polder bridges, from the time when the districts were still farmland. They will replace the rather unsophisticated timber bridges built when the city was rapidly expanding in the 1970s and 80s. Now that the districts have matured, they require a more sophisticated design.