Work to reinforce a major road bridge in Peterborough is progressing well and on schedule to be completed later this year.
In April 2018 work to strengthen the supporting piers of Nene Bridge, which carries the Frank Perkins parkway over the River Nene, got under way.
The bridge was originally built in 1984 and modifications to the piers were required so that essential maintenance work could be carried out. In addition, some of the supporting piers were starting to show signs of strain.
The work, which is being carried out by Skanska in conjunction with Peterborough City Council, will see six supporting piers each reinforced with 60 tonnes of reinforced concrete.
So far four piers have been strengthened and once the six are completed, work to replace the bridge bearings will start.
The unique V-shape of each pillar means the process has to be carefully carried out, with hundreds of steel bars wrapped around each structure to create an encased cage.
The distinctive angular design of the original piers has been retained in the strengthening design. This has required a complex box-like structure to be built up around each pier to shape the concrete. As two of the supporting piers are placed within the river bed, a temporary dam has been built so that they could be accessed.
The work is on schedule to be completed by October 2019 and will not cause any disruption for motorists using the bridge. Once complete, the reinforced pillars are expected to last for around 50 years.
Councillor Peter Hiller, Peterborough City Council’s cabinet member for growth, planning and economic development, said: “The bridge is a key part of the city’s road network, carrying a significant number of vehicles each day and it is imperative for it to be in good condition.
“This vital work will ensure the bridge can continue to be used for decades to come, which is reassuring news for motorists. They will also be pleased to know that the work will not cause them any disruption whatsoever.”