BATTERSEA BRIDGE owner Transport for London (TfL) hopes next week to invite bids for repairs to the 49m span arch struck by a gravel barge on 20 September.
Structural engineer Capita Symonds was this week evaluating a range of repair options.
It was putting them through the fi e element analysis model it originally developed for the strengthening of the Grade II listed structure in the 1980s (NCE 29 September).
Use of the model has already allowed TfL to reopen the two lane road bridge to buses, with single track working over the centre of damaged span.
TfL chief engineer Dana Skelley said the bridge had suffered several major barge strikes, including two within four months in the late 1980s.
(NCE 26 January 1989).
'Then the bridge was closed for nine months - this time we expect it to be repaired much more quickly.' Sections of the two outer arch rings of the seven ring span have been badly damaged.
Each ring is made up of 8m long bolted cast iron 'I' sections weighing 6t. Joints are permanently under compression so load would have to be taken off the arch before any section replacement operation could begin.
Replacement of the damaged arch would be the best long term solution, Skelley said.