Arch bridges: What is at stake?

Many arch bridges that exist today have endured for centuries, proving the durability of this maintenance-free structure.

VSL exploits this concept, proposing arch structures that are not only elegant, but also extremely cost-effective. Last but not least, they can be the best solution for achieving low-carbon infrastructure.

Smart&Green
Reducing the carbon footprint by 60% compared to a beam bridge

The arch is a very efficient structural member in which all the compression loads are brought to bear directly on the foundations, allowing savings to be made in concrete and rebar quantities, compared to traditional structures designed with concrete abutments and decks with beam and slab construction.

Overall, the carbon footprint of an arch bridge can be reduced by up to 60% compared to that of a beam bridge, taking into account post-tensioning, waterproofing and earth fill.

The simplicity of arch bridges allows them to be maintenance-free in the long term: another factor that further reduces the carbon footprint of the structure.

  • Lateral aesthetics: when combined with VSoL concrete panels used between the arches, designers can choose from a wide range of options, all of which have the guarantee of elegance that comes with the shape of the bridge.
  • Cost-effectiveness: arch bridges are simple to precast and to erect and do not require bearings, expansion joints, or approach slabs. They require substantially less concrete and rebar. Manufacturing and construction are fast, with off-site prefabrication in a controlled environment and a fast-track erection process.
  • Arch bridges are maintenance-free structures: the simplicity of the arch bridge – free of bearings, joints, and so on – offers a long lifespan without the need for maintenance and repair.

How VSL can help you

VSL is able to provide an integrated offer from A to Z: as a specialist contractor, we can deliver a turnkey design and build solution, combining:

  • Design and supervision of foundations together with specialist partners;
  • Erection methods and provision of specialist equipment to optimise cycle times and productivity;
  • Design, supply and prefabrication of lateral walls made of Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) based on VSL’s proven, cost-effective, very efficient and sustainable VSoL® solution;
  • Arch construction; both off-site prefabrication for a fast-track and enhanced quality construction process, and in situ construction.

What are VSL’s arch bridges solutions?

VSL can provide a design and build package, or offer specific services:

  • Design and supervision of foundations
  • Erection methods and precasting
  • Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) wall
  • Coordination and supervision of the arch design and construction
  • On-site construction, with erection of arches, and construction of the side walls, backfilling and lateral parapets.
Discover our Case Studies
Here is a selection of our references.

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