InTrans / Aug 14, 2018

A built-up timber girder for bridge construction in developing countries

Just as it is in developed countries, most developing
countries utilize concrete and steel in their various
forms of reinforced concrete, prestressed concrete and
steel, for the construction of bridges. Now, most of
these countries do not produce cement and steel locally
and have to rely on their importation. As a result, a
large proportion of their hard earned foreign currency
is utilized for the importation and construction of these
bridges. Paradoxically, many of these countries
abound in timber as a natural resource which could be
utilized for the purpose. The authors have identified
the bridge girder as the main constraint in the use of
wood for medium span bridges and have developed a
built-up timber girder to solve the problem. The paper
gives the highlights of the girder for the project, discusses
why the girder is appropriate to developing
countries with timber as a natural resource and outlines
important factors that need to be considered in
the design and construction of such a girder.