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
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.
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.
Mabey Hire presented a total solutions package which saved us the inconvenience of engaging numerous sub-contractors for the propping works. Had Mabey Hire not stepped in with such a comprehensive plan for the propping and monitoring, the alternative would certainly have been a more expensive option requiring temporary foundations. Furthermore, the ability to monitor the structure in real time enabled the M60 to remain open while the work was carried out, which was a huge advantage for the travelling public.
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