FM Conway wins contract to refurbish Blackfrairs Bridge

FM Conway has been awarded the contract to refurbish the Blackfriars Bridge across the River Thames.

The newly awarded contract will see FM Conway’s Structures team start work in late summer 2021 and is set to run through until 2024.Blackfriars Bridge will remain open to all forms of traffic with no significant interruptions expected during this time. The project will be delivered in partnership with Taziker and Alltask who recently played a key role in FM Conway’s successful refurbishment of the Grade II listed Rochester Bridge.

Blackfriars Bridge is a five-span steel and wrought iron rib arch structure carrying the A201 as well as a cycle superhighway over the River Thames. The 285m long structure was built in 1869 and widened in 1909 with the addition of new steel arches. This Grade 2 listed structure, owned by Bridge House Estates and managed by the City of London Corporation, has not been painted since the year 2000 and requires an aesthetic upgrade as well as maintenance to some of its features.

As part of the project to rejuvenate the structure, FM Conway will carry out a full refurbishment of the cast iron parapets as well as the maintenance painting of one of the Thames’ most iconic crossing points. Using the innovative cantilevered scaffold system FM Conway plans to carry out the work while minimising the load place upon the bridge structure and maximising the footway space for pedestrians.

The scope of works includes:

  • Repair and renovation of the cast iron parapets to Blackfriars Bridge
  • Creating a suitable access system to the underside of the deck that satisfies requirements of all stakeholders
  • Preparation and maintenance painting of the five spans of the bridge

The bridge is a key transport link within the City of London, one of the busiest crossings over the River Thames, and the location of one of the busiest work sites for the Tideway Tunnel project.

Matthew Smith, FM Conway Structures Director said: “We are thrilled to extend our partnership with the City of London Corporation to preserve the heritage of this iconic structure. The award reflects FM Conway’s expertise in the refurbishment of heritage listed structures and our proven experience working over the River Thames. We have developed a strong team with recent experience of Blackfriars Bridge and well-established stakeholder relationships. We are looking forward to getting started and introducing a range of innovations to support the City of London Corporation ’s environmental and social value commitments over the next three years.”

Steve Corcoran, CEO at Taziker said: “We are delighted to be supporting FM Conway in the delivery of the prestigious Blackfriars Bridge refurbishment for the City of London Corporation. Our relationship with FM Conway is a trusted one and provides a perfect blend of capabilities in construction and engineering. Throughout the duration of the project, we are committed to working closely with both FM Conway and the City of London Corporation to develop mutually beneficial relationships with collaboration at all stages.”

Clark Coffield, Contracts Director at Alltask said: “Alltask is absolutely delighted to be appointed by FM Conway as their principal scaffold contractor for the upcoming refurbishment of Blackfriars bridge. We look forward to starting work with them on yet another exciting and iconic bridge project.”

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