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Author Topic: Reading: Work on 106-year-old bridge to disrupt traffic  (Read 5282 times)
CyclingSid
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« on: February 10, 2023, 07:34:40 am »

For those travelling from Reading east bound on the A4 for the next three months:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-berkshire-64583584

This is the bridge next to Palmer Park that carries the North Downs line and the Waterloo line.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2023, 08:42:08 am »

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The company said off peak working would not be possible due to the need for scaffolding to support the carriageway.
It's not the usual meaning of carriageway, but it does carry carriages.
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stuving
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2023, 08:59:13 am »

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The company said off peak working would not be possible due to the need for scaffolding to support the carriageway.
It's not the usual meaning of carriageway, but it does carry carriages.

That one looks like the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page)'s fault. Railadvent has a direct quote:
Quote
Network Rail Southern region’s spokesman Chris Denham said: “We’re going to shot-blast the steel back to bare metal, treat any corrosion and then give it a coat of green paint, which won’t just keep the bridge looking good, but will keep the structure in good condition to carry trains well into its second century.

“Clearly London Road is an important route into Reading so we’re going to paint half the bridge at a time, keeping one lane of the road open at all times, with temporary traffic lights.

“It’s not ideal as we know this will cause some disruption, but the nature of the work and the need to keep our people safe while doing it, means we need to take this step. We’ll also make sure there’s a safe pedestrian route too.

“I’m very grateful to our neighbours in the town, who’ll be hearing and seeing us work between 7am and 6pm for the next three months, but we will get a much nicer looking bridge out of the job at the end of it.”

Temporary traffic lights will see sides of the road swapped approximately halfway through the project which will allow painting to cover both sides of the bridge.

Due to the nature of the project, the structure will be hidden by scaffolding and a sheeted covering will prevent paint and debris from escaping the working environment.

Looking at pictures of the bridge, it's actually two of them side by side. The gap between them is pretty narrow - about 20 cm by nearly 2 m deep, I reckon. So how do you shot-blast and paint the sides facing that gap? Small painters (which is presumably what the Victorians would have done, though not on that bridge)? Long-handled brushes? Fancy machines? And if it needs more preparation or repair, how do you do that?
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stuving
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2023, 09:03:46 am »

A google search for something direct from NR» (Network Rail - home page) came up with a picture, dated 9/2/23, but no words. Presumably something will appear soon to use the picture. I guess it's better that way round than a story with a missing link to start with.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2023, 09:25:47 am by stuving » Logged
Mark A
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2023, 11:29:23 am »

I can't find it, perhaps because the powers of Google search and the likes are fading rapidly, or perhaps because it's no longer up: someone from the GWSR was blogging on their bridge repairs, including the rail over road steel span at Gretton. This showed how corrosion at the ends of the bridge - where it sat on the abutments - was addressed. In that case I think I recall the span was jacked up enough to allow weld repairs, grit-blasting and recoating.

Since steel, once unprotected has no issue with rotting away in damp inaccessible locations and I've always wondered about how this is tackled in the difficult-of-access ends of a steel bridge, let alone if the span is of a nature it cannot be raised.

Mark
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stuving
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2023, 03:40:08 pm »

And here is NR» (Network Rail - home page)'s version of what's going to be done (you've already seen the picture in it):
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Temporary traffic lights planned for main road into Reading - until May - as Network Rail begins work improving 1917 railway bridge

A railway bridge over one of the main routes into Reading is about to get a new lease of life thanks to Network Rail engineers, who will be bringing it back to life with a new paint job.

The 106-year-old bridge over London Road in Wokingham Borough, and on the very edge of Reading Borough, carries the line between Wokingham and Reading on its way into the town. The paint has faded and worn and needs completely replacing to stop the structure from rusting.

Work will begin on Monday, 13 February, and continue right through until Tuesday, 9 May. Works will take place between 7am and 6pm each day. Off peak working is not possible in this instance due to scaffolding requiring supports on the carriageway itself. This means traffic lanes cannot be reopened at peak times.

    Network Rail Southern region’s spokesman Chris Denham said: “We’re going to shotblast the steel back to bare metal, treat any corrosion and then give it a coat of green paint, which won’t just keep the bridge looking good, but will keep the structure in good condition to carry trains well into its second century.

    “Clearly London Road is an important route into Reading so we’re going to paint half the bridge at a time, keeping one lane of the road open at all times, with temporary traffic lights.

    “It’s not ideal as we know this will cause some disruption, but the nature of the work and the need to keep our people safe while doing it, means we need to take this step. We’ll also make sure there’s a safe pedestrian route too.

    “I’m very grateful to our neighbours in the town, who’ll be hearing and seeing us work between 7am and 6pm for the next three months, but we will get a much nicer looking bridge out of the job at the end of it.”

The temporary traffic lights will swap sides of the road roughly halfway through the project, to allow painting to cover both sides of the structure. The nature of the work means the structure will be hidden by scaffolding and a sheeted covering, to stop paint and debris from escaping the worksite.
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2023, 03:53:14 pm »

I have just been under the bridge and had a look from the pavement.

Yes it is two bridges side by side. My uncalibrated eyeballs think it might be a foot between the flanges at the bottom of the bridge deck, and possibly three feet between the sides. In case of dispute refer to my optometrist.
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2023, 07:05:01 am »

Well the paint is on one half of the bridge. I wonder how long before it is "tagged".
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2023, 06:07:55 pm »

The job is now complete; scaffolding and traffic lights removed.

Panels in what I guess is Malachite Green, framework and remainder in Black.
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bobm
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« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2023, 10:42:55 am »

Had a look at this bridge yesterday.



Slightly odd underneath.  Some of the compartments have been netted over to prevent birds roosting - but many haven't.



Could this be another "Taunton" problem in the making?
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