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Major bridge inspection contract for new US WSP company

The contract for the inspection for the world’s eighth longest suspension span bridge, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City has been awarded to Chas H Sells, a US civil engineering consultancy recently acquired by WSP by the Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Authority.

This bridge is a 4 km long double decked structure with a 1.3km long main centre suspension span flanked by two side spans each 370m long. It carries 12 lanes of traffic over the Narrows and Belt Parkway

Located at the mouth of the upper New York Bay, the bridge connects Brooklyn with Staten Island, and is a major link in the interstate highway system, providing the shortest route between the middle Atlantic states and Long Island.

Chas. H. Sells expects to begin work on 1 May 2008. This will entail performing the inspections, and preparing a range of reports and emergency repair detail plans. A variety of access methods will be used that includes high lifts, bucket trucks, underbridge inspection units, free climbing, and necessary traffic control.

Data management is a significant challenge on such a large structure and Chas H Sells will make full use of the systems that they have developed for cost effective electronic collection and manipulation of field data and digital photographs into their report routines.

Steve Smith, Chas H Sells’s Managing Director, said:"It’s great to underscore our arrival in WSP with a significant contract involving such a high-profile structure. Joining the WSP Group will provide tremendous scope to use our expertise to operate with the rest of WSP bridges on a global platform."

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