Work on Lodgemore Lift Bridge progresses well
Despite the high winds and heavy rain, pile driving has been completed and the building of timber formwork for the concrete bridge abutments has begun.
Mudstone solution found
In Report No 3 we spoke of a problem where the piling auger met immensely hard material on the towpath side of the site.
The material was identified as mudstone. Despite the softness suggested by its name mudstone is immensely hard and correspondingly supportive.
The discovery of mudstone meant recalculations were neccessary. Planning and research identified the need for a total of ten piles to support the bridge and its abutments.
Total of ten piles installed
Two rows of three piles were required on the offside of the canal. These are 12.6 metres deep. This is the side that will support the hinge side of the bridge.
The four piles on the towpath side are 9.6metres deep. The 450mm diameter holes were fitted with steel reinforcing bars and pumped full of concrete. The piles are positioned 1.2metres apart. The steel and concrete was applied as each hole was completed.
The next stage was for 1.5 metres of material to be removed from around the top of the piles. The concrete abutments will then be cast around the exposed piling.
The large webcam picture below shows the timber formwork on the offside of the canal.
It is a skew bridge
Note the angle of the formwork in relation to the line of the canal. Lodgemore Lift Bridge is a skew bridge!
Fabrication in Nottinghamshire
Whilst all the groundworks have been going on in Gloucestershire, fabrication of the steel bridge structure has been proceeding apace at ECS Engineering Services in Huthwaite, Nottinghamshire.
The bridge is being fabricated in the company’s immense single story assembly building. The steel, some of it very thick, is all from Europe.
Spread amongst ten other ongoing projects throughout the busy building is the Lodgemore Lift Bridge deck. (Top picture)
Nearby is the single support pylon and balance beam. (Second picture) The handrails, also complete, are in another assembly bay.
Painting in Yorkshire
Shortly after these photos were taken the steelwork was taken to Doncaster for painting. The main structure will be traditional black & white. The deck surface will have a number of applications of a slow drying heavy duty non-slip coating.