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Historic take on design skills

ICE news

EXCEPTIONAL SKILL in design and construction was demonstrated by the two projects which won Britain's Historic Bridge & Infrastructure Awards (HB&IA) 2005 last week.

As well as the top awards, which went to Coalport Bridge, Shropshire, and Standedge North Tunnel near Huddersfield, seven projects were commended.

HB&IA is run by the ICE's panel for historic engineering works, to recognise and encourage excellence and innovation in the conservation of English and Welsh bridges and infrastructure. All structures are at least 30 years old. The awards are sponsored by the ICE, English Heritage, Network Rail, British Waterways and the County Surveyors' Society, and supported by NCEI.

Award Coalport Bridge strengthening.

Shropshire County Council with the borough of Telford & Wrekin, Gifford & Partners, Dew Construction, Mabey Support Systems and Sandberg.

A carefully researched and meticulous strengthening operation has enabled one of the oldest cast iron bridges in the world to continue carrying road traffic. Coalport Bridge of 1808 contains major cast iron arch rib elements dating from an earlier iron bridge erected on the same masonry abutments in 1798.


Standedge North Tunnel strengthening Network Rail with May Gurney Rail Services and Donaldson Associates.

Progressive failure of the brick horseshoe section lining of the 4.9km Standedge North Tunnel has been arrested by a remedial project involving minimal intervention to the original structure. A three stage scheme with intermediate monitoring was conceived to repair damaged sections of the tunnel which carries the busy Manchester to Leeds line.

The first stage involved pinning down the toes of moving sections of the lining with piles and ground beams. The second stage involved placing three concrete slabs under each of the two tracks to form a solid prop between the new ground beams. A third stage, if needed, will involve casting an insitu concrete lining to the brick arch.

Commendation Bersted Crossing footbridge restoration, Bognor Regis Network Rail with BCM Construction.

Subtle additional stiffening members, new timber and a thorough repaint have freshened Bersted footbridge.

Commendation Bugsworth Canal Basin restoration, Whalley Bridge, Derbyshire British Waterways with Mott MacDonald, Galliford Construction, Dew Pitchmastic Construction and the Inland Waterways Protection Society.

Cleaning out and resealing the canal troughs and basins in this agency-funded project has complemented many years of dedicated volunteer restoration work.

Commendation Crook O'Lune West Viaduct restoration, Caton Lancashire County Council with AE Yates and Technology Offshore Onshore.

Replacement of the timber deck and major renovation of one of two former rail viaducts crossing the Lune.

Commendation Hayhurst Swing Bridge refurbishment, Northwich British Waterways with Cheshire County Council, Dew Pitchmastic.

Britain's first electrically powered swing bridge is now restored and operational following intricate repairs and reconstruction of its semi-buoyant foundation structure.

Commendation M6 footbridges refurbishment, Sheffington to Appley Bridge, Lancashire Highways Agency with Atkins.

The three-pinned arch footbridges are a distinctive part of the early M6 motorway infrastructure but headroom below them had to be increased. Lifting out the bridges, refurbishing them and then resetting them on taller bankseats resolved the problem.

Commendation Silver Jubilee Bridge parapet replacement Halton Borough Council with Mott MacDonald and Mowlem.

Steel parapets on the 330m span RuncornWidnes bridge had to be replaced due to corrosion The challenge was to design a robust sympathetic restraint structure with minimal interference to the roadway and 90,000 vehicles crossing it each day.

Victoria Bridge refurbishment, near Arley Worcestershire Severn Valley Railway (Holdings) with David Symonds Associates and WK Cox.

A new steel mesh ballast deck plus repainting of all steelwork at Victoria Bridge should inhibit corrosion of the main structure.

The mesh replaces a bed of severely deteriorated second hand sleepers which retained rainwater and then allowed it to steadily drip onto the main structure below.

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