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Ancient monument stone bridge restored

Client: Gloucestershire Highways
Location: Halfpenny Bridge, Lechlade
Approved Installer: Goldhawk Bridge Restoration Ltd.

Halfpenny Bridge, named after its original toll, was built in 1792 from natural stone and is classified by English Heritage as an Ancient Monument. Carrying the A361 over the River Thames, its main semicircular arch has a span of 15.50m, with a central rise of 4.4m, and an overall width of 6.75m.

Problem

There was circumferential cracking of the main arch ring about 500mm from the east and west elevations. Together with general masonry deterioration, this caused concern as to the structural integrity of the arch. Structural rehabilitation of the arch was to include stitching and tying of all cracks. The work, under the control of English Heritage, had to be carried out from a moveable pontoon and completed by Easter to give river traffic unrestricted access.

Halfpenny Bridge, named after its original toll, was built in 1792 from natural stone and is classified by English Heritage as an Ancient Monument. Carrying the A361 over the River Thames, its main semicircular arch has a span of 15.50m, with a central rise of 4.4m, and an overall width of 6.75m.

Problem

There was circumferential cracking of the main arch ring about 500mm from the east and west elevations. Together with general masonry deterioration, this caused concern as to the structural integrity of the arch. Structural rehabilitation of the arch was to include stitching and tying of all cracks. The work, under the control of English Heritage, had to be carried out from a moveable pontoon and completed by Easter to give river traffic unrestricted access.

Helifix Solution

The cracks were cross-stitched by installing, across the cracks into angled clearance holes, 15 pairs of grouted, slim diameter, stainless steel helical ties.

With rebates cut into existing mortar joints, long helical stainless steel reinforcement bars were bonded with cementitious grout into alternate transverse bed joints in the voussoir stones.

Re-pointing of all cut rebates was carried out using a proprietary lime mortar, formulated to match the existing mortar in the stonework joints both in colour and consistency.

The fully concealed repairs left this heritage structure visually unaltered and met with the approval of both Gloucestershire Highways and English Heritage.