Carrington Bridge is first in the UK to use new ‘high strength’ weathering steel

The steel work installation phase of the Carrington Bridge in Worcester, the first in the UK to use high strength ‘S460W’ weathering steel, has been completed by engineering consulting group, COWI.

By using the stronger grade of steel, the COWI design team has been able to reduce the total material quantity by 15% on the project, resulting in a more sustainable structure. The reduced quantity of steel reduces associated carbon emissions from manufacturing and transport. The use of corrosion-resistant weathering steel means the steelwork does not require painting, a further environmental benefit.

The use of weathering steel also made it easier to transport and lift the girders. These were delivered to site in segments of up to 48m, then spliced into whole-span lengths of 80m before being lifted onto their supports by a 1200-tonne mobile crane, one of the UK’s largest. The final two crane lifts over the River Severn were achieved at a radius of 80m with the crane boom extended to its maximum length of 180m.

COWI won the work on the project with Alun Griffiths Contractors Ltd, as part of an ECI scheme, to design the three-span composite road bridge, as well as the geotechnical design of the road embankment, retaining walls and slope stabilisation measures. The bridge has a total length of 205m and forms part of the Worcester Southern Link Road project, which will convert the A4440 from single to dual carriageway, relieving traffic congestion in the area. The steelwork for Carrington Bridge was fabricated and installed by Cleveland Bridge.

The 2.5km long highway scheme includes another significant viaduct as well as a landmark footbridge, also designed by COWI. In addition to designing the structures, COWI was also responsible for all of the geotechnical design of the project, including earthworks. 

Andy Sloan, Managing Director / Senior Vice President, COWI in the UK, said: “We are delighted to have completed the installation of the steelwork for the bridge in less than two weeks. The site has been challenging with regular flooding being an issue and steep slopes which have given us reduced access for construction works, but our team have tackled these problems head on, and we are thrilled with the outcome.”


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