Engineering firm Spencer Group has completed the largest repair job on the Humber Bridge since it opened in 1981.
The ‘highly complex challenge’ involved removing four solid steel A-frames that linked the deck of the bridge to the towers at either end - replacing them with a new support system.
The £4m repairs were needed as the frames' bearings had become worn. The bearings help the A-frames to move as the bridge contracts and expands due to weather changes and traffic movements.
In order to protect the bridge from high winds and heavy loads, the Spencer Group replaced the A-frames and bearings with a new system of pendels - load-bearing arms - and "wind shoes", which absorb wind loading on the bridge deck and reduce the associated loads on the new bearing system.
Spencer technical director Nick Cooper said: ‘The delivery of this project gives the Humber Bridge security in its support bearing systems for many years ahead.
‘It has removed the risk of a catastrophic failure that would have required major, unplanned works and the inevitable long-term closure of the bridge, with all the serious consequences that would have had for the region’s transport infrastructure and economy.’
The Humber Bridge remained open throughout the project, even during the critical periods when the bridge loads were transferred between supports. Spencer worked with global engineering and design consultancy Arup on the project.