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In New South Wales (NSW) – Australia's most populous state and home to mageba’s Australian subsidiary outside the state capital, Sydney – the process of gaining general approvals for bridge expansion joints in accordance with the latest standard is extremely challenging. But with expansion joints of the right quality, approvals can be achieved – as demonstrated by mageba’s Australian team in being awarded the first such approvals, given to any manufacturer, for two of the most common expansion joint types following testing to prove fatigue performance. The TENSA®GRIP expansion joint of type RS-A is the first nosing-type joint with fatigue-resistant anchorage to be awarded the approval in accordance with the Australian standard AS 5100.4 by Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW), and the TENSA®FINGER expansion joint of type RSFD is the first cantilever finger joint with fatigue-resistant anchorage.
Owing to the state’s troubled experience with expansion joints of such types with inferior anchorage designs (before mageba started supplying them in NSW), there is a healthy level of scepticism in the state about their performance and durability. Fortunately, after a years-long process involving numerous submissions proving the quality and durability of the mageba designs – with reference to independent third-party testing in accordance with AS 5100.4, extensive further testing in accordance with other national and international standards, and decades of experience on bridges all around the world – the state authority was finally convinced that our joints were worthy of the special honour of becoming the first to gain the general approvals in accordance with the current, more stringent standard.
The first of these newly approved expansion joints have now been installed, with a TENSA®FINGER type RSFD expansion joint installed on the Twin Bridges over the Yass River. The first single-gap (type RS) joint will be installed in the coming months.
In a wider context, these expansion joints – which can be manufactured in Australia – are, in fact, the only joints of their type available anywhere in the country that comply with all the requirements of AS 5100.4 – most notably in relation to unlimited fatigue resistance.
With these high-quality and well-proven expansion joint types installed on its bridges, TfNSW can be confident that the life-cycle costs associated with the joints – including maintenance and replacement as well as initial supply and installation – will be a small fraction of what has been experienced to date by the expansion joint solutions used in the past, which typically achieved a service life of considerably less than a decade. With the bridge users also benefitting greatly from the much reduced maintenance and replacement work on the bridges, the decision to finally accept these mageba products for widespread use across NSW will soon be felt in a positive way wherever the joints are used.