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Helping to deliver essential utilities project

Manor Road, London

Murphy enlisted our expertise to design and install a propping system for major refurbishment works on Manor Road bridge. Located in Newham, the bridge plays a critical role in London’s wastewater infrastructure, carrying the Northern Outfall Sewer (NOS) across a major road and railway lines. 


Propping and jacking system installed during major refurbishment works
Limited access challenge
Critical expertise from in-house construction team

Products used on this project

The challenge

As part of the ongoing refurbishment works across the Thames Water network, with the bridge identified as a key asset, we were appointed to provide the propping support on the project. Originally constructed in 1860 as part of Joseph Bazalgette’s scheme to divert sewage from the River Thames, Manor Road bridge carries five sewer barrels, each measuring three metres in diameter, across the Jubilee Line, Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and Manor Road. Re-built in the 1960s, the bridge now also forms part of the Greenway Cycle Path.

Working with the main contractor, Murphy, we designed, supplied and installed a series of temporary propping equipment to support the sewer barrels during the construction works, within the dummy span between the Jubilee Line and DLR. Utilising our Mass 50 props, interconnected at one metre intervals to mirror and complement the existing barrel support, the system included a series of mechanical screw jacks. These jacks were able to be tightened to ensure the timber saddle remained in continuous contact with the barrels during periods of full flow.

Craig McDonnell, Engineering Manager from Murphy, said: “For the preliminary works on the Manor Road project, we turned to Mabey Hire to provide the temporary supports needed to avoid disruption to either the transport or utility network. Mabey Hire’s expert engineering team were able to design a temporary works solution for us and have its in-house install team erect it on site.”

However, before the temporary support equipment could be installed on site, there was a challenge to overcome, as Craig explained: “As the “dummy” span of the bridge sits directly between the Jubilee Line and the DLR, and is also below the Greenway Cycle Path, access is very limited. The Greenway has a maximum vehicle load limit of just 7.5 tonnes, meaning that we couldn’t rely on heavy plant machinery to install the temporary props."

Our solution

Craig continued: “With this in mind, Mabey Hire’s Mass 50 system was designed using smaller lengths (maximum one metre each), which the team then carried by hand from the delivery vehicle onto the scaffold loading platform and subsequently under the “dummy” span, where they could be interconnected.” 

Working alongside Murphy, the risk assessments and method statements were carefully approved to ensure that there would be no interaction with the railway, thus ensuring the safety of all operatives involved with the construction. 

Craig concluded: “Mabey Hire’s speed of response and the expertise of its in-house construction teams were critical on this project. Once access to the site had been provided and new reinforced concrete foundations had been constructed, Mabey Hire personnel were able to install its Mass 50 equipment in a timely fashion with minimum input from us.” 

We’re proud that our quick response and propping solutions have enabled Murphy to swiftly begin work on the renovations to this vital part of London’s utility network. Together, both companies worked hard to find a way around the logistical issues posed by this project and found an optimal solution that could be delivered efficiently and safely.

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