Innovative bridge repairing solutions in London
Repairing a bridge is awkward and strenuous work; repairing an active rail bridge that crosses an enormous river requires deft skills, assiduous planning and expert engineers. The Hungerford Rail Bridge in London is more than 170 years old and owned and operated by Network Rail. Two cable-stayed pedestrian bridges, the Golden Jubilee Bridges, flank the older steel bridge.
Noticing that the massive cast-iron piers needed attention, Network Rail hired a trio of engineering companies to carry out the work with minimal disruption to the railway and the river channel and to avoid polluting the River Thames. It needed an enterprising solution to access such a difficult location.
CAN (an RSK company), Costain and Metalock collaborated on a solution. They created an access and containment system, the mobile and innovative Ring CAN-Span workstation, which was assembled on a barge and winced into place by engineers. The enclosed habitat was hoisted and wrapped around a pillar, enabling the engineers to complete their work safely and avoiding debris falling into the Thames. Using the adjacent Golden Jubilee Bridges as a land base, a team of six engineers abseiled into place to work on specific sections in conjunction with specialists working on the bespoke Ring CAN-Span system. River channels remained open and the railway operated as normal throughout the work schedule.