Royal Albert Bridge

The 153 year old iconic Royal Albert Bridge, spanning the river Tamar in Devon is well underway to be given its much needed makeover. The two wrought iron 140m main spans are being strengthened, grit blasted and painted over a two year contract period.

Network Scaffolding worked closely at tender stage with the principle contractors and their engineers to conceive a new and innovative access system. The unique shape of the structure meant it wasn’t feasible to fully install the scaffold in one big hit, instead it was decided that each of the main spans would be completed is five phases, working from either end and completing in the middle.

The first main challenge faced was how to gain access from the shores of the site compound on the Devon side to the two main spans, hovering 30m above the Tamar estuary. The solution was to install a suspended walkway under the nine approach span to the beginning of the work area.

HAKI was approached to facilitate the designs of the system and implemented the HAKI Light to work with the unique shape of the structure. They invented unique brackets especially for the purpose of this project. The brackets rest on the circumference of the structure to act as a hanger for the system to be built up the 22m face of the two main spans. A slopping HAKITEC 750 Temporary Roof was installed to the system to cap off and encapsulate each phase.

Due to the location of the project, the encapsulation around the membrane of the scaffold can act like a sail and impose significant loading of the structure, to combat the concerns, each encapsulation sheet was attached to vertical runners which enable it to be retracted like roller blinds.

The project has received awards in HSQE performance from Network Rail.