Accoya builds bridges in Southport

9 January 2015

A venetian-style marina bridge in Southport, Merseyside, has been restored using 650 bespoke spindles crafted from Accoya.

Accoya, the modified wood product manufactured by Accsys Technologies, was also used to create handrails with an intricately curved radius matching the rise and fall of the bridge’s walkway.

The 1930s-era structure connects the town centre to the promenade and restoration was required earlier this year as the original wood had become worn from years of weathering and damage from the elements.

As part of a larger £5.5 million marina redevelopment project, UK-based Dresser Mouldings was appointed to supply wood for the upgrading of the structure. The firm specified Accoya for the project, recognising its outstanding properties of stability and durability which result from the manufacturer’s propriety acetylation technology.

“The marina bridge is a beautiful piece of workmanship from the 1930s, however over time and with weathering, aspects of the bridge required upgrading,” said Bill Gunn, Dresser Mouldings’ managing director. “We were keen to keep as much of the existing wood in place as possible, but where aspects of the structure, such as spindles and handrails, required replacement, there was only one option for us.

“Accoya is FSC certified and has outstanding durability and stability compared to any other hardwood products. This means that it will last longer without nearly as much maintenance as other woods. We are really delighted with the finished result.”

Initial plans proposed replacing the original cedar spindles with Cedar or Iroko wood, however the kiln drying process for Cedar is substantial and would have had an impact on the progress of the restoration. Dresser Mouldings was keen to use FSC certified wood for the bridge, which meant that Iroko was not suitable.

Each spindle was created by bonding two pieces of 75x150mm Accoya together to produce 150x150mm pillars. These were then machined using the most technologically advanced CNC equipment to accurately cut each spindle to size.

Accsys Technologies’ acetylation process results in a non-toxic wood, which matches or exceeds the properties of tropical hardwood. Accoya also boasts excellent environmental credentials and is produced with raw materials sustainably sourced from FSC certified forests.

Accoya also has superior resistance to UV degradation; an advantage use in a permanent outdoor application.

Bryan Crennell, director of sales and marketing for Accsys Technologies said: “Southport’s marina bridge is a stunning but a very intricate piece of joinery. Accoya is perfect for such applications as it offers excellent machinability and its enhanced stability means that any coatings made to the wood last three to four times longer than normal. The bridge has now been preserved for people to enjoy for generations to come.”