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.
The Queensferry Crossing, Scotland’s iconic 2.7km long 3-tower, cable-stayed bridge, was built as part of The Forth Replacement Crossing project, to replace the ageing Forth Road Bridge. The bridge, lying just a mile away from the Forth Road Bridge, is now the primary route between Edinburgh and Fife, carrying the M90 motorway across the Firth of Forth estuary.
The existing Forth Road Bridge, built in 1964, was notorious for suffering frequent delays, and operational and maintenance issues. Primarily as a result of heavy traffic congestion (far more than the bridge was originally designed to take) and adverse weather conditions - strong winds would often cause bridge closures for high-sided vehicles and sometimes to all traffic.
The £1.35 billion Queensferry Crossing (opened in August 2017) is a much stronger bridge made from the latest durable materials and equipped with modern weather/safety/traffic sensors and wind shields. The bridge will carry the vast bulk of traffic and is expected to remain open in all weathers, with easy maintenance access, whilst the original Forth Road Bridge will be retained as a route for walkers and cyclists.
USL Ekspan joint installation
USL Ekspan's Workforce
In addition to the bridge construction, The Forth Replacement Crossing project also included major motorway/approach road upgrades on either side of the crossing.
USL Ekspan were contracted by Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors JV to install USL Ekspan TF900 expansion joints on the North and South abutments of Structure FT01 approach roads to the Queensferry Crossing. The North joint was 112 metres in length and the South joint 68 metres. The TF900 joints were a design requirement that had to accommodate the heavy skew meet the longitudinal and transverse movement range required on both abutments.
New installed TF900 expansion joint
Site works included breaking out the road surfaces and preparing the foundations for installing the joints, installations of TF900 sections, nosing mortar and application of antiskid coatings. The work phases for this project presented particular challenges with respect to weather conditions and the necessity to co-ordinate the works with other contractors in order to meet the official deadline for opening in August 2017.
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