Home: June - July 2006 › Inspecting history
31/07/2006 | Channel:
A team from Owen Williams, now a part of Amey Plc, has completed the high level structural examination of part of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's last great railway bridge - The Royal Albert Bridge
A unique piece of engineering being both an arched bridge and a suspension bridge in one, it was constructed to cross the River Tamar at Saltash, near Plymouth, and
extend the South Devon Railway into Cornwall. Over a four-day period, Owen
Williams, working with partner Bridgezone, carried out a detailed inspection of the high level elements of the bridge. To achieve this, roped access techniques were employed requiring the team to ascend to the top of the main arch, before abseiling over the edge. Being a single-track bridge, and the main rail route to and from Devon and Cornwall, the structure has to remain open with trains running across it. The inspections were therefore carried out without a closure to the bridge. This examination forms part of the company\'s ten-year contract with Network Rail to carry out condition examinations on over 25,000 assets within the Western Territory. This involves a number of diverse structures, many of which were created by Brunel including the Dawlish Seawall,
Box Tunnel, St Anne\'s Tunnel and Wharnecliffe Viaduct.