Temporary Access Scaffolding
In relation to the original bridge construction in 1897, the British Architect Journal, wrote that ‘Scaffolding of a peculiar construction had to be employed, and methods of working more or less a novelty had to be introduced as the works went on’. The same can be said for the refurbishment works, as approximately 250 kilometres of scaffold tube have been weaved into position through the 6,300 steel members of the Bridge to provide temporary access. The majority of the temporary access scaffold will be installed this year and the maintenance, alteration and adaption to facilitate the follow-on trades will continue until the scaffold removal commences in 2021.
The temporary access scaffold has allowed for the identification, disconnection, and removal of the redundant utilities from the bridge. As these utilities are redundant, they are being removed.
The current reinforced concrete bridge deck was constructed in 1933 and is reaching the end of its original design life. In advance of undertaking the concrete repairs, we are undertaking testing which will inform the extent of the repairs and remediation required. These tests examine the condition of the concrete, the reinforcement, and identify particles such as road salt which may indicate a risk of future detoriation.
The steelwork repairs ongoing onsite involve the phased removal and reinstallation of steel bracing members which have become detoriated over the life of the structure. As the bridge is currently not subject to any traffic restriction, each steel member has to be removed and installed in a specific sequence to ensure the structural integrity of the deck is maintained at all times.
At this stage in the project there are over 50 operatives onsite everyday. On weekday evenings, we also implement traffic management on the North Bridge to allow materials to be brought into site for the following day’s work. This will continue for the duration of the project.
Edinburgh Old Town Association
The North Bridge Refurbishment project hosted a presentation for local community society, the Edinburgh Old Town Association, which discussed the history of the North Bridge, techniques and technologies being used on the project, and the project’s pledge to delivering community benefits and social value.
Balfour Beatty is dedicated to the Considerate Constructors Scheme ‘Code of Considerate Practice’ which highlights the importance of respecting the communities in which we operate.
The North Bridge Refurbishment Project is committed to supporting our local community and strives to be considerate neighbours. Through hosting groups, such as the Edinburgh Old Town Association, this allows the site management team to share some ‘behind the scene’ insights into the project’s current works with the local community.
During the presentation, the site management team were able to demonstrate innovative technologies being used on the project, including: BIM 360 Field, 3D digital scanning, and 360° photography.
Naomi Richardson, from the Edinburgh Old Town Association, said:
“On behalf of the Old Town Associations members, please accept our very sincere thanks for last night's fascinating presentations and allowing a few of our folk to visit the actual bridge - they all loved it! We really appreciated you all giving up your evening to do this for us.”
“All the technological explanations were amazing - thank you, Rory. It was stunning and humbling to see just what all this work involves. The skills and indeed bravery of all involved will certainly not be appreciated by the vast majority of those passing above, whether as pedestrians or in vehicles.”