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Network Rail estimates that around 500 masonry arch railway bridges are too low for its electrification programme. Dr Bill Harvey worked with Freyssinet and Network Rail to explore cost-effective solutions that would cause the least disruption to the rail environment and prevent the need for historic overbridges to be demolished in the future.
The team successfully completed the world's first ElevArch® masonry bridge arch lift in October 2016. The 161-year-old, 220 tonne masonry arch bridge at Moco Farm in Buckinghamshire was cut free from its abutments and jacked upwards by 900mm using ten 50 tonne jacks.
Dr Harvey will explain the technical difficulties of achieving such an innovative feat.
Dr Harvey is a world expert on masonry arch behaviour, although he began his career working on large steel bridges including the Humber Bridge. He went on to a career in academia and became Director of the Wolfson Bridge Research Unit and Head of the Department of Civil Engineering at Dundee. Since 2000 he has worked as an independent consultant.