A modular bridge construction methodology, the InQuik Bridge System was invented and developed by Bruce Mullaney, Logan Mullaney and Jim Howell in 2015.
The system is based on a standard reinforced concrete bridge methodology, which has been used around the world for more than 100 years. It is currently the most widely used bridge construction methodology in every country, especially due to advancements in pre-casting and tensioning cables.
The key idea behind the InQuik system is that a welded steel reinforcing cage is connected to a permanent steel formwork so that the construction load from the concrete is transferred to the internal reinforcing. thus, the structure is fully self-supporting and concrete can be poured on-site. This simple concept has numerous constructability and product quality advantages, and the structure has a minimum 100-year design life (achieved by using 40 mpa concrete, or 50 mpa in a b2 coastal environment), with minimal to no longterm maintenance requirements.
The maximum single span currently offered by InQuik is 18.5m. however, multi-span options are available, using the InQuik headstock to build bridges with no real limit on the total length achievable.
Revolutionising Bridge Design
As Bruce describes it, he and Jim never intentionally set out to revolutionise the engineering and construction of bridges. “My brother in-law Jim and I were developing a new fire-rated highrise housing system that used concrete suspended floors. When we looked at the drawings, we realised that the system could also be used as a bridge. And so our bridge journey began,” said Bruce.
InQuik was keen to work with other local companies from the outset. According to Logan, “We looked to team up with Australian companies to get off the ground. That’s one of the reasons why, in 2015, we partnered with SMEC —the originally stateowned company that built Snowy Hydro.”
SMEC undertook the engineering and certification work for the system. “Our engineers analysed the concept behind the system using advanced finite element analysis programs and adjusted our designs to be compliant with the relevant national bridge codes,” said Bruce.
As a result, the InQuik Bridge System was designed and certified by SMEC to comply with the requirements outlined in the Australian Standard AS 5100 Bridge Design, including SM1600 and HLP (Heavy Load Platform) 320 and 400 loadings, as required.
With design and certification finalised, the team moved onto manufacturing. Once again, InQuik looked to partner with a local company. It was not long before leading manufacturer and supplier of steel reinforcing, Australian Reinforcing Company (ARC) got involved. According to David Hardy (Regional Manager NSW, ARC), “We’ve been associated with InQuik right from the outset. While InQuik had the design and IP, they needed to partner with a company that could do the manufacturing for them.”
It’s little wonder ARC and InQuik were such a good fit: the two companies share many of the same values. Classifying itself as a ‘true blue Australian company’, in 1920, ARC became the first to produce steel fabricated mesh in Australia at their Sunshine site near Melbourne.
Over the years, ARC has supplied the steel built into many of Australia’s most iconic structures, from the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, and the MCG and Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, through to Parliament House in Canberra.
“Today, all our steel products remain 100% Australian made with international quality assurance and in compliance with Australian Standards,” said David.