Repurposing the blades could help solve a major waste challenge
On a former train track bed connecting the towns of Midleton and Youghal in County Cork, Ireland, workers recently excavated the rusted remains of an old railway bridge and installed a pedestrian one in its place. The bridge would have been an unremarkable milestone in the development of a new pedestrian greenway through the Irish countryside, if not for what it’s made of: recycled wind turbine blades.
That makes it just the second “blade bridge” in the world. The first, installed last October in a small town in western Poland, officially opened in early January. The engineers and entrepreneurs behind these bridges are hopeful they represent the beginning of a new trend: repurposing old wind turbine blades for infrastructure projects.
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Fab example of #circulareconomy -todays installation of a new bridge with #reuse #windturbineblades on the Midleton Youghal #greenway for @Corkcoco. Congrats to @ruane_kieran @MTU_ie lead researcher, Angie Nagle & Paul Leahy @EngineeringUCC https://t.co/rHmX7sVj53 @QUBelfast pic.twitter.com/7UPVqD7e8R
— MTU_Civil Eng (@MTU_CivilEng) January 26, 2022
Re-Wind Network has successfully installed a wind blade pedestrian bridge in Cork, Ireland. It uses two repurposed LM 13.4 wind blades from Nordex N29 turbines originally donated by Everun Ltd. for its main girders and has a span of approximately five meters when measured from the root end.