RDC founders have designed the four UHPC footbridges installed in Spain up to date. For spans between 10 and 35 m, the precast element proposed is a truss with contant depth where the top chord is the handrail. For longer spans, the design is tailored, and it generally has a variable depth. Normally, the deck and the handrails are also designed with UHPC in order to minimize the maintenance of the structure. The footbridges designed are frequently located near to the coast (XS1 exposure class) or requested by a private client due to their slender and elegant design.
Why to use UHPC?
Fibers in UHPC can carry tensile and shear stresses, allowing the removal of the secondary reinforcement. This is crucial for the optimization of the structure, as the section of the struts and ties can be significantly reduced. The final design is lighter and slenderer than in a design with ordinary concrete, and the volume of resources consumed is reduced to less than half.
- It allows a slenderer design compared to ordinary concrete elements. In fact, for the non-expert eye a UHPC footbridge may be confused with a steel structure
- Their durability is improved compared to steel or ordinary concrete structures, having also lower minimum maintenance costs.
- With UHPC the structure is lighter than ordinary concrete structures, so in many cases it is feasible to precast them in the factory and do the commissioning in a more reduced time window
- The first one, a 45-m single-span structure installed in 2013 in the Oveja’s Ravine in Alicante, should be highlighted as it was the first truss footbridge in the world made only with UHPC.