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Bridge Dismantling

Client: Birse Civils Limited
Discipline(s): Making safe, decontamination, demolition, remediation, concrete removal
Location: A404(M) Motorway Bridge, Maidenhead
Programme: June 2010 to Feb 2011  

Spanning over Great Western Railway, the A404(M) motorway bridge had reached the end of its operational life. Coleman & Company was commissioned to develop a scheme for bridge dismantling, while maintaining the flow of motorway traffic and causing minimal disruption to Network Rail’s operations.  

Scope of works

The works to dismantle the bridge involved:
  • Making the area safe
  • Decontamination of the site
  • A staged dismantling scheme
  • Deconstructing the bridge in longitudinal strips with cranes, specialist lifting equipment and diamond floor sawing and drilling
  • Protecting motorway and rail lines
Project challenges

This unique project was carried out under demanding conditions and raised a number of engineering challenges:  
  • The spalling concrete deck and extensive corrosion had compromised the structural integrity of the bridge
  • Major demolition was limited to four hour periods during weekend and midweek night closures of the motorway
  • All cranes had to be set up, demolition works completed and all equipment cleared to allow the motorway and rail network to be reopened on time
  • High risks were involved when removing a structurally defective bridge, under stringent contractual liabilities
  • Due to structural and operational constraints, no heavy cranes or plant could work off the bridge structure, resulting in multiple plant working concurrently to remove up to 100 tonnes of concrete per hour overnight
  • As-built information was inconclusive and contained errors, therefore Coleman & Company continually adapted and modified design and methodology, whilst adhering to stringent contractual programme constraints
Coleman & Company rose to this complex and unique civil demolition project and its challenges, providing bespoke equipment, senior level project management and staff expertise to successfully complete this demanding bridge dismantling project.  

  • Residential and commercial
  • Live motorway A404(M)
  • Rail track with four lines to Central London