Work begins on M5 Golden Valley Bridge refurbishment scheme

Highways England’s Golden Valley Bridge refurbishment scheme has commenced. Freyssinet is providing temporary works design, concrete repairs, post-tensioning special inspection (PTSI) site surveys and investigation, bridge bearing supply and replacement, cathodic protection, hydro demolition and reinstatement of ballast walls and stringcourses on the north and south structures, located on the M5 J11 Golden Valley Interchange.

In February 2020 Kier Highways engaged Freyssinet under an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) scheme to provide design assistance on methodology for grouting empty post-tensioned ducts, cathodic protection design, concrete repairs strategy and methods of jacking and bearing replacement strategy on the structure.

Freyssinet also formed part of the Highways England project delivery team for the Golden Valley Bridge refurbishment, working closely with Principal Contractor MJ Church, nominated delivery partner for the project. Our collaborative approach with Highways England, Kier and MJ Church assured a good level of understanding in buildability and programme knowledge for the specialist refurbishment works required.

Work on site started at the beginning of November 2020 with a 55 week programme period. The main contractor excavated to the rear of the abutments and installed scaffold access/encapsulation systems to allow Freyssinet to access the ballast walls and deck ends.

Freyssinet’s in-house company Aquaforce Concrete Services Limited has carried out hydro-demolition to the existing ballast walls to gain access to the deck end and post-tensioning anchors. This will allow Corrosion Control Services Limited (CCSL) access to undertake post-tensioning investigation to check the anchorages are in suitable condition before the concrete repairs process can take place.

Concrete repairs to the bridge deck soffit and deck end will commence early 2021, with the jacking and bearing replacement due to be carried out mid-2021. Stringcourse parapet reconstruction will occur in April 2021, with Aquaforce providing multiple gangs on site to remove the existing concrete parapet upstands.

A successful post-tensioning grouting trial was carried out at Freyssinet’s Telford factory in October, witnessed by Highways England and Kier representatives. Freyssinet operatives are currently preparing for the grouting of the post-tensioning duct that was found to be un-grouted during a post-tensioning special inspection (PTSI) undertaken by Freyssinet in 2017.  The techniques developed and proved during the trial will be used to grout the duct within the north bridge deck in order to restore the integrity to the structure.