Precast concrete bridges are highly economical, quickly constructed, durable, safe and can be constructed in days rather than weeks which is great news for farmers needing to traverse rivers, creeks, irrigation channels and ditches.
Almost all farms have creeks, water ways or gullies that form a physical barrier between two otherwise connecting paddocks. These barriers can be the source of much anguish as farm animals, farm machinery or even in an emergency, fire trucks or other emergency vehicles are prevented from crossing.
In recent times there has been an emergence of the use of Precast concrete bridge planks that are quick to install and can be designed to serve any of the uses mentioned above.
A single span farm bridge can be designed and manufactured away from the farm and can be installed and made usable inside of two days.
Typically the farmer chooses his preferred crossing location and sends a hand sketch to the precast concrete manufacturer, together with its intended use.
The precaster will design the bridge and its abutments and following a brief site measure will manufacture the bridge components.
Most bridges will span between 5 metres and 15m and will be 1.2m to 4.8 metres wide.
On the farm, the abutment trench will be excavated on both banks of the creek and some stabilized sand or gravel will be placed in the trench.
On the day of the bridge arriving on the farm, a crane arrives followed by the delivery truck or trucks.
The crane will set up on one side of the creek and lift the abutments into the trenches. Once the abutments are levelled up, the bridge planks will be lifted into position.
At this stage if a structural topping concrete is required, sheets of mesh and other reinforcing bars will be installed.
The structural concrete will be poured from the back of a concrete truck and the crew of three men will screed and finish the concrete.
As the delivery trucks, crane and concrete trucks depart the paddock, a bridge is left behind connecting the two banks.
Article kindly provided by Hollow Core Concrete.