East Sussex's lightweight bridge is UK-first


East Sussex CC has installed the first Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) bridge to be manufactured in the UK.

The new eight metre-long lightweight footbridge crosses the River Brede in Sedlescombe and is one of only a handful of FRP in the UK and the first in Sussex.

Manufactured by Norco GRP Ltd in a specialist factory in Poole, Dorset, and designed by Surrey-based firm CRL Composites, the bridge was hoisted and secured in place in less than an hour.

Running alongside the B2244 the new structure is expected to have a minimum 60-year lifespan and lower maintenance costs than the 50-year old timber bridge it replaces.

Cllr Carl Maynard, East Sussex CC lead member for transport and environment, said: ‘The old wooden footbridge had deteriorated over the years was requiring regular work to replace rotting timbers. The materials used in the new structure mean it will need far less maintenance work, saving time and money in the long run.

‘The bridge had the added benefit of being built off-site, allowing us to minimise the disruption to pedestrians which would have been caused by lengthy construction work.’

The bridge came ready-fitted with powder-coated steel railings and council contractor Kier oversaw its installation.

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