Silver Jubilee Bridge, Runcorn
Framework: SCAPE Civil Engineering
Project value: £40 million overall value of works completed since 2009
Bridge Awards 2022 Winner: New Life > £5 million Award
ICE North West Awards 2022 Winner: ICE North West ‘Constructability Award’
Project scope: 25,000 metres sq. of steelwork blast cleaned and repainted
Originally opened in 1961, the Silver Jubilee Bridge in Runcorn is one of largest steel arch bridges in the UK and, as part of a major highway network in the North West, is regularly exposed to traffic volumes of over 80,000 vehicles per day.
Balfour Beatty was first appointed by Halton Borough Council to deliver their Bridge Maintenance Partnership Contract from 2009 to 2015. Since 2015, Balfour Beatty has successfully completed over £20 million of ongoing major maintenance works for the bridge delivered via the SCAPE Civil Engineering framework.
Funding for the maintenance of the bridge was initially awarded by the Department of Transport and subsequently via the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
Since the 1960s, elements of the bridge have suffered from corrosion damage; various corrosion protection measures were put into place to try to correct this. Forming part of a major local network of highway, the bridge was closed from October 2017 to February 2021 to deliver several packages of works including repainting the entire top arch for the first time since the bridge opened in 1961.
As part of the original works, Balfour Beatty were responsible for completing structural concrete repairs and cathodic protection to the bridge deck soffit and abutments, steelwork repainting, steelwork strengthening, parapet replacement and bridge deck refurbishment.
The combination of high traffic volumes across the bridge, four narrow running lanes and no central reservation, presented significant traffic management and access challenges during maintenance works undertaken in the years leading up to the full closure.
In addition to waterproofing and painting the arch and applying an innovative, thin surface material utilising polymer modified bitumen to keep the dead load on the bridge deck within the allowed design tolerances, the running lanes were reconfigured and a new dedicated cycle lane was created.
Balfour Beatty also successfully trialled a complete replacement of a locked coil hanger cable from arch to deck, providing Halton Borough Council with the confidence that future cable replacement works would be feasible whilst the bridge remains operational.
Through the strong collaborative relationship built with the council, the project team were able to combine work packages and share management and logistical resources. This approach minimised disruption to the public and delivered savings of over £700,000.
In 2022, the project secured two accolades, the ICE North West ‘Constructability Award’ at the ICE North West Awards and the New Life > £5 million award at Bridges. Commenting on the Bridges award, the judges said “the scheme demonstrated high-quality risk management and structural engineering in a complex environment".
overall value of works completed since 2009
25,000 metres sq.
steelwork blast cleaned and repainted
4,000 metres sq.
concrete bridge deck protected
In collaboration with:
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