National Highways has confirmed that work to strengthen the Ouse Bridge on the M62 in the East Riding of Yorkshire will take until next autumn, as eight joints need permanently replacing.
Temporary plates were sourced and put in place to allow a lane to be reopened on the bridge, and since they were installed, National Highways engineers have been investigating a second temporary plate option which will them to install the permanent joint replacement.
Since installing the temporary plates we’ve had two design teams looking at 1) a second set of temporary plates for the area we need to work in and 2) the full joint replacement across both carriageways.
This autumn crews will remove the temporary plates and install the second set of plates across the damaged joint on the eastbound carriageway. These new plates will allow them to work on the permanent joint replacement while keeping one lane open on the eastbound carriageway. They aim to complete the replacement of these two joints by Spring 2023.
The next step will be on to the westbound carriageway to replace the four joints there before returning to the eastbound to complete the final two joints.
National Highways says Ouse bridge is a complex (almost) 50 year old structure and replacing bridge joints is a highly complex task which requires specialist equipment, resource, and time. “The design of bridge joints has evolved over time and this particular joint is now obsolete so we cannot replace it like for like,” it says. “This will also involve alterations to the concrete elements of the bridge. We have worked with industry-leading engineers to carry out detailed and methodical analysis of the structure to inform our replacement programme. We have needed to carry out robust structural investigations and detailed design work that includes precise calculations.”
(Picture – National Highways)