Hidden Army Of Engineers On M62 Ouse Bridges
The 40,000 drivers who use Ouse Bridge each day will probably be unaware of the small army of engineers at work underneath them, keeping this iconic structure safe for all those crossing over it.
Starting this week more than 30 contractors will be working 25 metres above ground to replace the bridge bearings which currently support traffic travelling on the M62 over the River Ouse.
It is the first time since this mile long bridge opened in 1976 that the bearings will be replaced as they have now reached the end of their lifespan.
Highways England project manager Russell Mclean said:
“This is an amazing piece of engineering work which presents some unique challenges. This first phase will see our team replacing 48 bearings at the top and bottom of the bridge, using significant scaffolding and suspension equipment in a confined environment.
“Most drivers will not know we are there and during the day we will be able to keep three lanes of traffic open over the bridge for the duration of the scheme.”
A bridge bearing is the part of a bridge which allows the bridge to move in a controlled way when under the stresses and strains of traffic and during changes in temperature and weather.
The work marks the start of a series of schemes which will see all 240 bearings replaced over a period of two years.
Most of the work will be carried out underneath the bridge which represents a significant engineering challenge, working at heights of 25 meters.
There will be 12 overnight closures of the M62 carriageway across the structure later this year to allow engineers to use cranes to lift the bridge deck off the bearings to allow the old ones to be removed and replaced.
The scheme to replace the first set of bearings will be completed in January 2019 before work will start on the next phase of replacements early next year.
Ouse Bridge was opened in 1976 and was the last section of the main part of the M62 which stretches east to west from Liverpool to Hull for 107 miles.
Hidden Army Of Engineers On M62 Ouse Bridges, 29th May 2018, 15:31 PM