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Bearing replacement on M62 Ouse Bridge, followed by Teesside AGM

Event organised by ICE

19 January 2021

This event has now ended

You can catch-up on details or any broadcast and downloads here.


In 1997 the M62 River Ouse Viaduct failed its structural assessment when it was discovered that the 208 mechanical bearings had seized. Following this, strengthening works and replacement of the bearings to the central piers took place during 2002. Due to space constraints needed to the new Eurocode EN1337 it would then take another 18 years until a replacement scheme for the remaining 160 bearings was designed, developed and completed. Every bearing was made to fit each position and temporary works were complex with live load reactions needing exacting design of the temporary works to lift the structure.

Join Matthew to hear about overcoming the challenges of replacing the inverted spherical bearings, sat a top piers 18m high in the air in some cases. The seized bearings had caused concern with the engineering team that the structure was locked into position, and that the replacement scheme would lead to a sudden release of energy. Permanent modification of the structure and bespoke engineering components had to be designed and tested prior to the replacement scheme.
The focus of the presentation is on integration of innovation, to solve issues of clearances and effects of live load to keep the Motorway open along with the early adoption of pre-site workshops, mock-ups to improve on site safety.
Due to the close work by all stakeholders this project is nominated for a Highway England Award for collaboration under the Supply Chain Collaboration category.

Highlights of the presentation include:

  • Introduction to the expired bearings on the bridge
  • Examination of issues related to the structure
  • Scope of replacement works
  • Technical approvals for the scaffold and jacking systems
  • Overview of the temporary works and strengthening solutions
  • Research and development to overcome material challenges
  • Controlling potential energy release from seized bearings
  • Installation trials and mock-ups
  • Project statistics and summary

Note this meeting is in conjunction with the IStructE.

The ICE Teesside Branch AGM follows this meeting, feel free to stay, meet our friendly group and find out what we do.

A short Annual General Meeting to review what we have achieved over this last year and ratify our roles.

We welcome nominations for the Vice Chair and should there be more than one candidate then each nominees shall be invited to speak out on what they would bring to the role prior to member voting.

Other vacant roles are Overall Program Coordinator, Communications Officer, Improvements Officer, Social Organiser, Climate Change Lead.

View our current list of members.

For more information please contact:

Joanne Topping