The importance of carrying out bearing and expansion joint inspections by proficient and competent engineers who understand their functionality can often be key to maximising a structure’s lifespan and avoiding major, unexpected, emergency repair costs.
USL Ekspan have carried out a number of projects for swing bridges and foot bridges. From design, fabrication of all structural components, to trial erection and final installation. Details of these type of bridge installations can be supplied on request.
Riverside Viaduct (consisting of 8 piers between the abutments) is one of the five structures that forms part of the St. Peter’s Bridge. The Viaduct crosses over the River Trent and lies east of Pumphouse Viaduct (another of the five structures). St. Peter’s Bridge carries the A5189 over a flood plain and the River Trent to the south east of Burton Upon Trent town centre.
The bearings on Riverside Viaduct and St Peter’s Bridge articulate on a combination of fixed, free and longitudinal guided spherical bearings. Several of the structure’s original bearings, with severe corrosion and excessive condensation were recorded as being irreparable. Some of the bearing stainless steel sliding surfaces had delaminated causing distortion; rotation and in some positions, over-rotation had given way to bearing displacement, in addition to rotation of PTFE wear. These findings collectively hindered and inhibited correct bearing functionality essential for the damp environment they were designed to operate in.
USL Ekspan's Workscope
As part of the £6.1 million scheme investment secured for the essential strengthening and refurbishment works on St Peter’s Bridge, CLM (Currall Lewis & Martin Construction) contracted USL Ekspan to replace the bearings on Riverside Viaduct.
Super props temporarily support the bridge deck during bearing installation
USL Ekspan designed (to EN1337 standards), manufactured and installed 19 no. stainless steel spherical bearings. The programme of works for this installation was completed in two phases with careful planning of temporary works, bridge jacking and bearing removal sequencing with Mabey Hire to constrain and monitor the structure. Works on this project included: design and installation of temporary works and bridge jacking; hydro demolition of the top piers and abutments; removal of old spherical bearings; installation of new bearings; recasting of concrete; shuttering and grouting of new bearing beds and final de-jacking of the bridge.
Hydraulic jacks mounted on the bearing shelf prior to bearing installation
New installed stainless steel spherical bearing
The project’s location had been exposed to unpredicted snow and periods of flooding, despite this USL Ekspan successfully completed the bearing installation ahead of schedule.
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