Catholic Bridge

  • Client
    Essex County Council / Ringway Jacobs
  • Value
    £1.5m
  • Duration
    40 weeks
Jackson worked collaboratively with Essex County Council and Ringway Jacobs to complete the £1.5m underpass refurbishment project of Catholic Bridge at Witham in Essex.
We were tasked with developing a methodology that did not impede the travelling public and using a temporary works design that enabled the bridge to remain live throughout construction while also allowing the integrated team to work safely and efficiently.

We carried out thorough ECI, designed significant temporary enabling works, and delivered a complete renovation and a new permanent concrete pedestrian underpass to strengthen this busy 176-year old road bridge.

Reducing road closures

Constructed in 1848, the original bridge deck consisted of eight cast iron beams, but over the years it had been strengthened and new trestle supports added. The project came about after an inspection had found cracks in a number of the beams.

Jackson installed portal frames running parallel with the cast iron beams but situated central to each jack arch to support the bridge throughout construction, decreasing road closure spells and creating a safer working environment for the team. Throughout this project, the team used real-time monitoring around the clock to ensure the stability of the structure.

Maintaining heritage

The team excavated under the bridge using a Vac-Ex machine in preparation for new concrete foundations. To maintain the bridge’s heritage, the wing walls were faced with brickwork sympathetic to the existing bricks to mirror the original structure.

Anti-vandal lighting units were fitted and all new surfaces coated with anti-graffiti paint in order to reduce the cost of maintenance of the underpass and create a pleasant passageway for walkers on the Blackwater Trail. 

'This was a complex scheme with intricate temporary works design and installation which required careful programming. Each stage was critical to maintain traffic flow over the bridge without causing any damage to the existing bridge.'

Stephen Christian, Contracts Manager, Jackson Civil Engineering

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