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BOLT FROM THE BLUE

BOLT FROM THE BLUE: Three years of working from an access platform suspended 150m above the Humber estuary comes to an end this week when the last of 2,904 steel bolts securing the Humber Bridge's deck support hangers is replaced. Humber Bridge Board let the £90,000 contract to access specialist High Rise Services which saw each bolt individually renewed while the hanger and deck beneath remained live. The upper end of each of the 242 hangers is fixed to a clamp around one of the crossing's two main suspension cables and tied using 12 bolts. These 36mm diameter bolts remain in generally good condition but are being replaced during routine maintenance after 25 years' use.

Repayment of the Bridge Board's ever-increasing £421M construction debt - grown from an original £98M loan - has been rescheduled. Some £60M will be written off and terms on the remainder extended to allow toll profits to cover reduced interest charges.

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