“it’s not wood’s fault”

It’s not often that you can get a bunch of engineers together and have them excited about an ’old’ technology, but it happened today!

We were extremely fortunate to be able to host Dr Dan Tingley, a world-renown engineering expert in Wood Technology, as he discussed opportunities to relook at the age-old material of wood as a viable and cheaper option for maintaining and renewing our current and future bridge stock.

Often wood fails to meet its expected whole-of-life designed outcomes, but as Dr Tingley would often reiterate; “it’s not wood’s fault”. If wood isn’t treated as a specialised building material with unique maintenance and installation requirements, then we are setting this material up for failure and “a bad rap”.

HDC officers were very impressed and will be working alongside Dr Tingley and WSP-Opus when next reviewing our wooden bridge stock, and looking for ways in which we can reduce the future costs and extend the life of these assets.

Our Manager of Infrastructure Assets, David Edge, summed up the event:

“Today we re-learned that ‘just because it is old doesn’t mean it isn’t any good’. We can restore these wooden structures and extend their lives!

“We have an opportunity to reduce costs to our ratepayers, while still getting the required use from these expensive assets.”

wooden bridges 1

wooden bridges 2