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Hammersmith Bridge blast repairs to start

MAJOR REPAIRS to the bomb damaged Hammersmith Bridge will begin this week in an attempt to reopen the crossing by the end of August.

Murphy has been appointed to carry out the £150,000 repairs, which are expected to involve cutting out 4.5m of the wrought iron transverse member damaged during the 1 June bomb blast (NCE 8 June).

The deck will be supported on Acrow props until the damaged beam is replaced with a bolted steel section.

'We can't weld the wrought iron, ' said Hyder special structures project engineer Craig Burrell. Hyder is designing the repairs for the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.

A 1m length of the longitudinal steel beam which suffered localised bucking is expected to be replaced with a welded section, as will the critical palm plate connection to the hanger damaged in the blast.

Hyder expects to be able to carry out the repairs from underneath the bridge, without taking up the deck.

Murphy's first job will be to shot blast the area surrounding the explosion to remove the paint. Testing specialist Sandberg will then be called in to carry out ultrasonic tests on the steel sections, welds and rivets, to confirm the extent of damage identified in the visual survey.

Magnetic particle tests will also be carried out to detect cracks in the wrought iron.

'We are under a lot of pressure to do it right, ' said Burrell. The council wants the bridge to be open for the start of the new school term.

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