Fibre Reinforced Polymer Bridges

This guide gives advice to all designers, manufacturers and contractors who wish to use FRP composites materials in the construction of new infrastructure.



The adoption of FRP composites within the construction sector has historically been limited to lightweight non-structural elements such as sanitary items and cladding. More recently, the use of FRP composites as main structural members has seen a resurgence. Bridges made entirely of FRP composite are now being installed, with asset owners recognising the associated benefits.

Within the UK the projected growth in the use of FRP composites for structural applications in the construction sector suggests high levels of growth with the UK Composites Strategy 2016 (Composite Leadership Forum, 2016) estimating significant growth. In addition to this, there are numerous technological advancements (eg nanotechnology/fibre innovations) that will make FRP composites a much more attractive solution.

At present, there are minimal resources for the bridge engineer to refer to, with no recognised design standards to follow. However, structural Eurocodes are in development and there are a number of guides from materials manufacturers. So, the intention of this guide is to help bridge engineers to understand FRP materials and how they can use them effectively in modern bridge construction.

Within the guide, the history of FRP bridges in the UK is discussed, together with some of the key learning points relating to FRP materials, the manufacturing process and the relevant design criteria. Sustainability is also an area identified, with recommendations made. 

Why attend?

The guide is intended to be a reference document for bridge engineers and asset owners. It is not a prescriptive design text/standard, although it does aim to highlight key lessons learnt by the industry to aid future applications, so engineers should be familiar with the content, and use the guide to help inform discussions with the supply chain and bridge owners.

Download a free copy of Fibre-reinforced polymer bridges (C779).


Provisional programme and subject to change

13:30     Registration

14:30      Welcome and introduction – Sue Halliwell, Composites UK

 14:40     The need for guidance – sharing knowledge and lessons learned

               James Henderson, Atkins Ltd

15:00     Conceptual design – St Austell Footbridge case study

              Jon Shave, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff

15:20     Connection challenges

              Toby Mottram, University of Warwick

15:40     Procurement, fabrication and installation

              Simon Eves, Pipex

16:00     The future for FRP bridges in the rail sector

              Rob Dean, Network Rail

16:15     The future for FRP bridges in the highways sector

              Pier Valerio, Highways England

16:30  Case studies – 10 min each

  • Lifespan Structures – Martin Richardson
  • Optima Projects – David Kendall

Event Partner

Composites UK

Wednesday 21 November 2018
14:00 - 17:00 (registration from 13.30)

CIRIA Offices
Griffin Court
15 Long Lane
London, EC1A 9PN
Limited number of free spaces for CIRIA members
£95+VAT for non-members 

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Tel: 020 7549 3300
Fax: 020 7549 3349
21/11/2018 - 21/11/2018
Griffin Court
15 Long Lane

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