Chelmsford Army & Navy Flyover ‘Riddled’ With Concrete Cancer

A temporary prohibition of traffic order has been issued for the Army and Navy flyover in Chelmsford in Essex, which could see it closed for up to a year and a half.

According to the BBC, Essex County Council declared the structure sound on July 10th but it will now be closed for essential repairs on July 23rd.

Cabinet member for highways at the county council Kevin Bentley insisted that the flyover – built as a temporary structure in 1978 and only intended to be in place for about four years – was in good condition, even if some sections of the concrete cladding were starting to deteriorate.

He went on to say that although there are no concerns about the structure or safety of the flyover and residents should be assured that it is indeed safe, routine maintenance has now been scheduled and will take place over three weeks, concentrating on the main traffic control and sign system, and the parapet connections.

However, local residents and other councillors have been expressing their worries about the structure of the flyover, with Mark Springett – Lib Dem councillor for Moulsham Lodge – saying that it is indeed “riddled with concrete cancer”, with chunks beginning to crumble away.

He tweeted that residents must now be told the truth on the matter after corrosion and cracks were photographed during the week beginning July 9th.

/h2/What is concrete cancer?/h2/

You might well notice at some point in the future that your building or similar structure is starting to show signs of wear and tear – something we call in the industry concrete cancer. This term is used to refer to the rusting of the steel reinforcements that are included inside concrete slabs.

When steel begins to rust, it expands, which results in displacement of the surrounding concrete. Once this happens, the concrete starts to become brittle and will begin to crack, speeding up the process of disrepair.

You need to keep a look out for cracking (also known as concrete spalling), as this can be dangerous if it’s left untreated. Be particularly vigilant with the outside of your buildings as they’re more exposed to the elements and this can make any issues worse. For example, pieces of concrete could fall from the structure, potentially causing damage and risking human life.

Other signs of concrete cancer to keep a watchful eye out for include rust stains that seem to be seeping out from inside the concrete itself, leaks in overhead concrete or bubbling of concrete render.

There are many reasons why concrete spalling takes place, such as because the substrate hasn’t been properly poured so moisture can seek into it through cracks. It could also happen because the reinforcing steel wasn’t properly prepared when the concrete was first poured.

For help and information relating to ultra high performance concrete, get in touch with us here at Freyssinet today.