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 A473 Bridgend inner bypass bridge spans the River Ogmore, in Bridgend, South Wales. The ageing structure, with nearly 50 years wear and tear carrying high volumes of traffic, had developed some significant problems which had been identified by Bridgend Council as requiring major repair and maintenance work. Repairs to the bridge’s parapets, concrete supports and bearings were essential to ensure the structure remained durable and safe for continued use.
The steel bearings supporting the bridge deck were excessively corroded to the extent that some had ‘seized’, and were consequently deemed as being inadequate to accommodate the expansion and rotational forces which they were originally designed for. To alleviate this increased stress transferred into the bridge deck and supports, these bearings had to be replaced.
USL Ekspan's Workscope
USL Ekspan were contracted by Dyer & Butler to replace the existing 65 no Glacier steel rocker bearings with USL Ekspan BS5400 mechanical pot bearings on the West abutment, at the East and West piers of Bridgend inner bypass bridge. Due to the complexity of the structure’s design and the existing bearing dimensions, the new installed bearings were designed and manufactured as bespoke pot bearings.
Old rocker bearing corroded and no longer functional
Works on this project included marking-up and prepping site for installation of temporary works / bridge propping; hydro demolition of bearing / bridge beams, piers and abutment; bearing removal; construction and installation of steelwork beams as plate/stool arrangements for the new pot bearings to be fixed to; bearing installation; concrete repairs works for encapsulation of steelworks and bearing top plates and base plate sockets; concrete repair to piers and abutments and final grouting of the new installed bearings.
Super props and jacks temporarily supporting bridge decks
New installed mechanical pot bearing fixed to the bridge beam and bearing shelf
The A473 dual carriageway remained open with lane restrictions whilst USL Ekspan worked to a very tight programme schedule - this together with the extreme complexity of theinstallation made precise and logistical planning crucial to ensure all site work operations were timely met.
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