Safety Focus: Northern Outfall Sewer Bridges

London, United Kingdom

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Built more than 100 years ago, nine bridges in London play an essential role in the city’s sewage system by carrying sewer pipes over rivers, roads and railway lines. AECOM supported important repairs and refurbishments to ensure their future use and public safety.

We conducted the bridge inspections and assessments and design for structural strengthening. Among the structures, the Channelsea River Bridge was in the greatest need of repair.

The bridge’s 3.5-meter (11-foot) deep steel and iron girders were corroded, along with the iron hangers supporting the cast iron sewer pipes and its deck slab. The repairs required complex coordination of the permanent and temporary works to protect the bridge and the sewer pipes.

As a Grade II listed Heritage Structure, the bridge also required important restoration work. The bridge’s Victorian ornamental cast iron parapets were removed to be refurbished and reinstalled, along with other complex metal work repairs, including replacement of a number of the wrought iron hanger bars supporting the cast iron sewer barrels while the sewers remained in service.

Safety Solutions

Working with Optimise, the project’s contractor, we comprehensively managed the project’s safety requirements, from ensuring initial inspections were incident-free to preparing pre-construction health and information for the client, contractor and subcontractors.

When the deck of one structure had been removed exposing the sewer barrels, we promoted the use of an improved system of overhead lifelines that protected our inspection team and site workers from slipping and falling.

Outcomes and Achievements

Optimise and our company’s efforts were recognized with the Thames Water Health and Safety Best Practice in H&S Collaboration award.