The Ramboll stand at Hidden Defects conference 15 November 2016
Our involvement follows the success of the Hammersmith Flyover phase 2 (HFO2) strengthening work last year, which has the potential to change the way society thinks about future refurbishment of similar existing concrete structures in the UK and abroad.
HFO2 demonstrated how complex repair work can be cost effective, with minimal disruption to passenger journeys, and is an exemplar of how to squeeze additional capacity out of existing structures, making them reliable for many years into the future.
In response to recent structural failures of bridges (including the closure of the Hammersmith Flyover in 2012), which are largely unpredictable and have the potential to cause serious accidents, the UK Bridges Board approached CIRIA (The Construction Industry Research and Information Association) to commission a report to help asset owners manage the risk.
The resulting CIRIA report ‘Hidden defects in bridges: Guidance on detection and management’ is authored, supported and funded by bridge professionals from the UK, including Ramboll, and will be published in January 2017.
The Hidden Defects conference is organised by Bridge Design and Engineering magazine in partnership with CIRIA. The one-day forum featured the authors of the report, as well as bridge owners including Highways England, Transport Scotland and Network Rail, bridge inspectors, structural engineers and other industry specialists. Ramboll’s Matthew Collings and Paul Jackson attended the conference to discuss case studies and recent specialist work.
For many years Ramboll has provided technical advice and research on the risk assessment, stability and strengthening of bridge structures for the asset owners including Network Rail, TfL, Highways England, and recently the Nippon Expressway Company Research Institute (NEXCO RI). We safely maximise the capacity of existing structures and, where unavoidable, define complex strengthening schemes within significant operational constraints.
We are renowned for our non-standard design and assessment approaches, which have saved our clients millions of pounds by enabling challenging strengthening projects instead of the conventional approach to replace structures. For example, as Technical Lead for HFO2 we applied our extensive experience, which is based on major historic input across all forms of bridges.
With strong skills in niche engineering sectors such as post-tensioning, finite element analysis and computational design, we are helping to deliver Transport for London’s Structures and Tunnels Investment Portfolio (STIP), which is part of a £4bn investment in London’s surface transport infrastructure to make journeys safer and more reliable, and to improve the environment for all users of the network.
Phase 2 strengthening of the Hammersmith Flyover (HFO2), was a phenomenally complex £100m programme including innovative engineering solutions to install a full new prestress without removing the original. With 70,000 users every day on a key strategic route into London, the structure, which had been deteriorating due to significant corrosion, presented many technical, logistical, programme and political challenges.