Glulam is making its way from buildings to bridges, becoming a cost-effective, viable and sustainable alternative to steel and concrete, according to research out of South Dakota State University in the US. Researchers at the university’s J Lohr Structures Lab tested the strength of a glulam bridge as part of a push to give counties and towns more options when designing new bridges or replacing old ones. “To our knowledge, this is the first time that full-scale testing has been done on glulam timber bridges,” co-principal investigator Mostafa Tazarv said. Bridges on low-traffic county and township roads must be strong enough to withstand great weight – enough to support the typical 15 fully loaded trucks per day that cross these roads, Dr Tazarv said. …Glulam construction costs can also be anywhere from 25 to 50 per cent less than conventional bridges, he said.