Our projects

Supporting maintenance on a major motorway bridge

Palatine Road Viaduct, Manchester

The M60 Palatine Road Viaduct carries the M60 over the B5167 Palatine Road and the River Mersey in the Northenden area of Manchester. Constructed in 1974, the 200m bridge comprises three lanes and a hard shoulder on each carriageway.

The bridge has been there since the motorway first opened as part of what was then the M63, and was beginning to show its age. Essential repair work needed to be carried out to the concrete piers, whilst the road remained open to motorists. These essential repairs helped to keep the bridge safe for use for decades to come.


bridge in need of essential repair


vehicles use the motorway bridge every day


hydraulic jacks used on the project to lift the bridge by just 5mm


Essential repairs undertaken to 50 year old motorway bridge piers
200m bridge lifted just 5mm by 88 hydraulics jacks so repairs could be made
Structural Monitoring solution implemented throughout the duration of repairs, feeding live data on the bridge’s movement, allowing for the road to remain open during the works

Products used on this project

The challenge

A routine inspection concluded that a number of the concrete pier crossheads on which the bridge sits were under strength and should be repaired and strengthened. Repairs to the drainage systems also needed to be carried out.

Located on one of the major routes near Manchester Airport and Trafford Shopping Centre, closing the Palatine Road Viaduct, even in just one direction, would cause major delays and inconvenience for the M60 road users. Over 80,000 vehicles use the M60 between junction 3 and 5 every day.

Our solution

The Balfour Beatty, Mott MacDonald Joint Venture approached us to design, fabricate and install a solution to prop the structure, and monitor it for movement so that repair works could be carried out to each of the piers safely and efficiently, while the bridge remained open.

The 50-year old bridge was lifted just 5mm (roughly the thickness of an iPhone) using Superprop, a high-load propping system with integrated adjustment and hydraulic pre-load and lifting facility, along with 88 remotely-operated hydraulic Hymat Jacks and bespoke bearings. We designed a bespoke proprietary propping system and installed it too.

The project required design and fabrication of custom parts. On all of the piers, bespoke steel base collars were designed and installed, to transfer horizontal forces into the piers.

With the road remaining open, we also implemented a structural monitoring solution, allowing the project teams to constantly monitor the bridge’s vertical, longitudinal and transversal movement during both the initial jacking up of the structure and throughout the duration of the works. All information recorded is uploaded to Insite, where it can be monitored and any discrepancies swiftly actioned and remedied, ensuring the safe and smooth delivery of the temporary works and concrete pier repairs, without the need for the road to be closed.

Our equipment remained on site for 9 months. So far phase one of the projects has been completed, with two out of 15 piers repaired.

Following the success of the project’s first phase, we secured a further contract to similarly design, fabricate and supply the required temporary propping works for the next four piers of the bridge’s supportive structure.

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