Historic bridge gets Streets Ahead makeover

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A Sheffield bridge with a history dating back to the 17th century has been strengthened, repaired and restored to make it fit for a modern day city.

Newhall Road bridge over the River Don is one of 240 road bridges and culverts in Sheffield to be given a new lease of life thanks to investment linked to the Council’s £2.2bn Streets Ahead contract.

Connecting Brightside Lane and Attercliffe Road, and a link in the Five Weirs Walk through the East End, the crossing’s history can be traced back several centuries to a time when it was a rural packhouse bridge.

The current steel structure was built around 1889 close to the location of the giant Hecla Works where manganese steel was developed.

The five-month scheme was carried out by Streets Ahead contractor Amey and tackled areas of corrosion to some of the steel elements of the structure. The bridge needed strengthening to ensure it meets current highway loading standards, as well as numerous other repairs, while retaining the appearance of the landmark.

“It is one of the earliest examples of steel bridges in Sheffield and was showing its age and signs of wear and tear after many years of constant use,” said Amey structures manager, Christopher Hampson.

“Although the bridge was perfectly functional, parts of the original steel trusses and a steel troughing underneath were corroded, partly as a result of its environment and road salts over the years.

“We carried out a large number of repairs to the steelwork. A number of the original rivets were replaced with new bolts, a new concrete slab was cast on the deck and it was fully resurfaced. The bridge was completely re-painted and the stonework restored.

“It was time consuming work because it is only once you have started that you discover extra areas that require attention. Now completed, the life of the bridge has been extended by many years.”

The scheme was one of the last major bridge projects to be carried out by Amey under the Government-backed £2.2bn Streets Ahead programme to radically improve the city’s roads, footpaths, street lighting and other highways infrastructure in partnership with the Council.

The only remaining major scheme outstanding is to strengthen the road bridge that carries Shirland Lane over the Sheffield & Tinsley canal in the Attercliffe area of the city.

Altogether, Amey will have strengthened 40 road bridges including the historic Smithy Bridge at Low Bradfield, Unsliven Old Bridge in Stocksbridge and Broomhead Bridge near Bolsterstone.

Now that these strengthening schemes have been completed, it has allowed weight restrictions to be lifted.

“Because the majority of bridge work is usually carried out underneath, not everyone appreciates what work is being carried out,” said Christopher.

Amey has carried out improvements at some 200 other bridges and culverts. The contract with the Council also extends to rebuilding over 150 retaining walls to ensure support to the highway is maintained, as well as over 300 smaller schemes to repair highway retaining walls and footbridges on both urban and rural footpaths throughout the city.

Now the main five-year core investment programme is almost completed, Amey will carry out regular routine and preventative maintenance to all the city’s highway structures over the next 20 years.

To find out more about the Streets Ahead contract visit: www.sheffield.gov.uk/streetsahead

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