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UNDERNEATH THE ARCHES: Installation of grouted stainless steel anchors into two, three span brick arch bridges across the River Great Ouse in Newport Pagnell started this week. A 17t weight limit was imposed on the bridges 12 months ago after failing assessments, but the presence of complex services in the roadways ruled out most conventional strengthening methods. Milton Keynes Council chose the Archtec system, which was developed jointly by Cavity Lock Systems and Gifford & Partners, on 'aesthetic and economic grounds', a spokesman said. Installation of the raking sleeved anchors which form the heart of the system is normally from above the arch, but in this case a more complex operation is needed to install the 4m long anchors from below. Part of the Archtec package is a complete structural analysis and anchor design service. Contract value is pounds98,000, and the main strengthening works are due to be completed by mid- December.

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