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High standards test historic bridge judges

ICE News

Five Awards, four Commendations and one Special Mention are made in the Historic Bridge & Infrastructure Awards 2004 (HB&IA), which are being presented at the ICE today (18 November).

'The large number of awards reflects the very high standard of this year's 22 entries, ' commented the judging team, led by Professor Roland Paxton.

HB&IA is run by ICE's Panel for Historic Engineering Works to recognise and encourage excellence in the conservation of English and Welsh bridges and infrastructure more than 30 years old.

HB&IA is sponsored by the ICE's Panel for Historic Engineering Works, British Waterways, CSS, English Heritage and Network Rail, and supported by NCE.

Hungerford Canal Bridge A brick arch structure stabilised and strengthened by the first commercial use of circumferential drilling to install retro-reinforcement. Small bundles of 8mm diameter stainless steel reinforcement were grouted into the brick ring some 50mm below the surface of the canal.

Judges' comments: 'This is a very intrusive and not easily reversible strengthening technique but that is not apparent from the finished work. The concept is a clever innovation. Strengthening created a bridge capable of carrying unrestricted traffic and there is a sheet of calculations to prove the high load capacity.'

Client: West Berkshire District Council Bridge owner: British Waterways Consultant: Babtie Group Contractor: Bersche-Rolt Myton on Swale Bridge restoration Myton dates from the mid 1860s and has a 31.5m cast iron main span between brick and ashlar dressed piers and backspans, which pass large volumes of water when the artificially high-banked river is in spate. Before restoration it was in very poor condition and was closed as a safety precaution in 1998. The bridge was taken into public ownership so that it could be repaired. Local enthusiasts formed the Friends of Myton Bridge who raised funds and secured grants.

Judges' comments: 'Attention to detail is excellent. A risk was taken to use simple kerbs as protection to the balustrades from occasional vehicles that use this track, and the bridge is all the better for it.'

Client: North Yorkshire County Council Designer: Mouchel Parkman Contractor: Lumsden & Carroll Construction iron works: Casting Repairs Pontcysllte Aqueduct and Trevor Basin refurbishment A £3M comprehensive cleaning, maintenance and repair operation on Thomas Telford's 307m long, 38.4m high aqueduct plus excavation to form a boat turning basin at one end has demonstrated the remarkable quality of the original 200 year old canal works. The only extensive structural replacement required was of buckle plates supporting the towpath, mimicking an earlier design.

Judges' comments: 'A great preservation scheme ensuring that this revolutionary structure will be safe with a minimum of attention for the next 50 years.'

Client and designer: British Waterways Contractor: Dew Construction Waterloo Train Shed refurbishment A £41M major refurbishment of Europe's largest train shed.

Originally built between 1902 and 1922, the glazed roof has been comprehensively repaired and made compatible with 21st century maintenance safety standards while retaining all its original main structural members.

Judges' comments: 'Excellent conservation. Instead of scrapping the slender roof trusses the team dismantled them carefully, stripped and galvanised the steel then set it back in place. The vast roof is essentially the same as when it was built, but daylight without drips can now be enjoyed by the thousands who use Waterloo every day.'

Client: Network Rail Contractor: Amec Capital Projects Cost consultant: Turner & Townsend Whorlton Suspension Bridge refurbishment Built between 1829 and 1831 to span the Tees, this timber decked, chain link suspension bridge with masonry piers remains essentially the same as when conceived by architect/engineer John Green. Repairs involved replacing decking planks, bolts, nosings and painting the chain links.

Judges comments: 'Superb.

Alterations from the original design have been minimal.'

Client: Durham County Council Contractor: Durham CC Service Direct

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