Historic Gloucester Street Bridge to be restored to its former glory
The Gloucester Street Bridge is now halfway through its earthquake repairs by the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT).
The 130 year old bridge, in the central city, was badly damaged in the 2011 and 2012 earthquakes and SCIRT’s Fletcher team began repairing the bridge in February this year.
The heritage bridge was closed in June 2013 when engineers found that bolts pinning the structure together had sheared and it was no longer safe for traffic and pedestrian use.
The SCIRT repair work involves partially deconstructing the bridge by stripping back the existing concrete, installing new structural steel beams to strengthen the bridge and finally placing a reinforced concrete deck.
SCIRT is repairing the structure to its pre-earthquake condition to be able to safely withstand heavy vehicles as well as foot traffic.
Gloucester Street Bridge heritage steel beams are removed
Project Engineer Michael Carstens says, “Currently we’ve completed around 55% of the work. The concrete has been fully removed leaving the existing steel and cast iron beams exposed.”
“Our crew carefully removed the concrete around the heritage steel work in an effort to protect and restore it.
“At the moment, the team is working to have the area ready for the eight new steel beams and precast concrete slabs arriving onsite enabling the next phase of construction.”
A specific type of scaffolding has also been used throughout the repair process to protect the local environment while work is underway. Four mobile work platforms that slide together under the bridge have been designed to prevent any contamination of the Avon River.
The finished structure will resemble its original condition but it will be more resilient to any future earthquakes. SCIRT repairs to the bridge will continue through until December 2016.