Introduction

Opened in 1906 the bridge is Grade II listed and after being replaced by The Plimsol Bridge in 1965 had fallen into disrepair. The bridge has been given a new lease of life and will form part of the route for Bristol’s new Metro bus system. SRK Scaffolding were appointed by Volkerlaser to provide a containment scaffold to the whole of the structure.

About the project

Before the works could be carried out the public had to be diverted from the bridge, this was achieved by installing a 3 meter wide purpose built access ramp, over 80 meters in length. Special consideration was made when designing the ramp, as not only was this going to be used by the general public but also the Bristol mounted Police.

Because of the poor condition of the bridge there were weight restrictions that had to be adhered to until all of the stanchions had been reinforced, SRK achieved this by building a series of support towers that hung over the bridge on both sides. A number of beams where then attached to the towers to form an access deck.

From this containment scaffold the welders could then carry out their reinforcement works that would enable SRK to carry out the main works.

The third phase of the contract was to erect the full scaffold to the bridge however as these works were about to commence it became apparent that the existing steel to the underside of the bridge was too brittle to attach to. SRK designed an alternative scheme consisting of HAKI 750 beams being installed to the top of the structure which would support a system access scaffold slung below. Once complete the whole scaffold was encapsulated with shrink wrap to form a temporary containment. Working over the Bristol Estuary our operatives wore full PPE at all times, including harness and life jackets.