Lincoln Eastern Bypass
Steel tonnage: 620t
“The colour of weathering steel will
change from grey blasted steel as it
undergoes the rusting process to a light
orange / brown and then a dark brown.
Weathering steel contains specific alloy
elements that produce a stable rust layer
that develops over time to form a protective
barrier which significantly reduces
corrosion”, explains Mr McBride.
“The appearance of mature weathering
steel bridges often blends in with the
environment which looks aesthetically
pleasing and surprises many people who
think the steel will just look rusty.”
There is also an environmental and cost
advantage connected with using weathering
steel. No painting in the future will obviously
save money, but issues associated with
VOC emissions from paint coatings are also
avoided, which is good for the environment.
Cleveland Bridge was subcontracted by
BAM Nuttall to fabricate and erect the critical
rail bridge for its end clients, Lincolnshire
County Council and Network Rail. A trial
assembly was undertaken at Cleveland’s
Darlington facility in order to identify and
resolve potential snags, and to ensure the
installation would go smoothly and to plan.
“In our substantial operational facility we
were able to do a trial assembly, so we could
check connections, alignment and reduce the
amount of time spent on site doing remedial
work. This increased cost-effectiveness and
ensured a high-quality project outcome,”
adds Mr McBride.
Additionally, as part of the company’s
requirement to significantly reduce site time,
Cleveland Bridge’s scope of works included
both the waterproofing of the steelwork and
concrete works, which were also done at its
facility in Darlington.
Cleveland Bridge says it was engaged early
in the design stage to ensure the optimum
solution was developed for the bridge, which
needed to have a longer span than the old
structure as it carried the rail lines over a
new and wider road.
“The new bypass was under construction
simultaneously, so our work involved
collaborating closely with all partners to
ensure we met BAM Nuttall’s Beyond Zero
sustainability objectives,” says Mr McBride.
Cleveland Bridge supplied a fabrication
and assembly package which involved its
engineering, project management and
site services departments. The structural
weathering steel was a grade that complied
with BS EN 10025-5 and fabrication was in
accordance with BS EN 1090-2 for Execution
The bridge deck is 40.5m long, 9m
wide and weighed just over 620t. All bolts
used were weathering grade TCBs, chosen
for their durability and slip-resistant
The two main bridge girders were
assembled and welded in the factory to
form two 40m-long sections, each weighing
107t, which were then delivered to site as
complete pieces. This created complicated
planning for transportation as it necessitated
road closures and required police access
However, this method improved
installation speed and accuracy, while
reducing the requirement for on-site services
and works such as welding.
The bridge sections, including the two
main girders and the connecting cross
members, were installed using two cranes - a
750t-capacity unit and a 200t-capacity crane
- to lift each section into place.
Supported on the cross members, the steel
decking was laid diagonally to address the
complexities of the camber.
The assembly of the entire bridge took
Cleveland Bridge approximately two weeks.
This work also included designing and
supplying temporary bracing for supporting
the steelwork during site assembly.
To ensure as little rail disruption as
possible was caused, the new structure was
assembled close to the existing bridge to
very tight tolerances. During a 72-hour rail
blockade the old bridge was demolished and
the new one slid into place.
Cleveland Bridge says this was a
complicated process and was achieved
via the accurate setting and loading of the
beams, which required both its site team
and clients to work as one team. The Lincoln
Eastern Bypass LEB Railway Bridge was
completed on time and within budget.
Essential to this success was the collaborative
working relationship with the client.
The entire Lincoln Eastern Bypass is due
to open at the end of 2019.
The installation was
completed in 72 hours