The importance of carrying out bearing and expansion joint inspections by proficient and competent engineers who understand their functionality can often be key to maximising a structure’s lifespan and avoiding major, unexpected, emergency repair costs.
USL Ekspan have carried out a number of projects for swing bridges and foot bridges. From design, fabrication of all structural components, to trial erection and final installation. Details of these type of bridge installations can be supplied on request.
Tower Bridge, London’s most iconic landmark and one of the City’s busiest river crossings, was closed to vehicles for three months to carry out vital structural repairs, refurbishment and maintenance works. The extensive use of Tower Bridge, by more than 40,000 people and 21,000 vehicles every day had taken its toll on the timber decking. This resulted in City of London Corporation awarding Bam Nuttall (on an ECI basis) the contract to carry out an intensive programme of repair works, which included operations both civil and structural. The Victorian structure, until now, had not had any significant engineering works for more than 35 years.
USL Ekspan were contracted by BAM Nuttall to undertake the removal and replacement of the worn expansion joints on both the North and South approach spans.
USL Ekspan's Workscope
USL Ekspan had to remove a total of 10 no. Type 6 expansion joints and replace these with Type 5 T-Mat 30 joints - 5 no. on the North approach span and 5 no. on the South approach span.
South Approach Span - breaking out of existing Type 6 expansion joint
Positioning of Type 5-Mat 30 expansion joint
North Approach Span - Installed T-Mat 30 expansion joint across bridge deck
The scope of works included preparation of the road decks and footways prior to the removal of the existing joints; saw cutting the existing concrete deck and breaking out of asphalt by hydro-demolition; removal of the existing joint and lift-out using a telehandler; installation of the joint sub rails in the road and footpaths; concrete repair; installation of secondary seals, T-Mat 30 expansion joints, nosing mortar and antiskid.
The T-Mat 30 expansion joints were successfully installed across the bridge as one continuous length across the road and into the footpaths.
The success of this installation by USL Ekspan, was attributed to working in sequence with the works operations carried out by Bam Nuttall and their associated contractors; meeting all rigid deadlines and working logistically against live river traffic in line with the scheduled bascule bridge lifting times.
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