CONTRACTORS STRUGGLING to repair the failed main bearing that has kept the troubled £8.5M Glasgow Science Centre (GSC) tower closed for months are to fit a temporary low friction support pad instead.
But sources close to the project said the temporary arrangement would only allow limited rotation of the 105m tall tower, which was originally designed to turn through 360infinity.
Main contractor Carillion confirmed this week that tests on the thrust bearing that collapsed and allowed the 450t structure to sink 15mm into its supporting basement, have still produced no clear diagnosis (NCE 12 September).
'No-one wants simply to replace like with like until we have the final verdict, ' a spokesman said. 'Until then we will be installing a temporary bearing over the next couple of weeks that should allow the tower to re-open to the public before the end of the year.'
Meanwhile Carillion has replaced the radial bearing which sits immediately above the thrust bearing and takes lateral wind loads from the tower's inverted support cone.
Designed by structural engineer Buro Happold, the tower has a high level viewing platform which is supposed always to face into the prevailing wind. Since it closed in July the GSC has lost thousands of pounds a day in ticket income.