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From JAMIE.GOODWIN@HULLCC.GOV.UK | Tuesday 13 November 2018

Hull firm to enable high-level access for engineers to carry out improvements on striking structure.

The Humber Bridge is among the world’s largest single-span suspension bridges.​

Hull engineering firm Spencer Group is to start work on a maintenance project that will help to secure the long-term structural integrity of the Humber Bridge.

The firm will enable high-level access for engineers and specialist operatives to carry out works at the bridge, which is just six miles from the company’s headquarters.

The firm has already delivered a series of projects in the field of long-span bridge repair and refurbishment, including the world’s largest bridge cable anti-corrosion project at Denmark’s Great Belt crossing, which links the eastern and western parts of the country.

The project is part of a focus by the Humber Bridge Board to maintain the safe crossing of the bridge by 10 million vehicles every year. The bridge, a Grade I listed structure is a feat of engineering. At 2.2km long, is among the world’s largest single-span suspension bridges.

The maintenance project will begin in December and involve the design and construction of an access platform to allow engineers to access and inspect the bridge’s hangers – the super-strength, high-tensile steel spiral strands that suspend the bridge deck from the main cables.

Spencer Group managing director Gary Thornton said: “We’re delighted once again to work on an important project that will contribute to the long-term future of the Humber Bridge. Having successfully completed major bridge works all over the UK and in Europe, it’s particularly pleasing to bring our unique knowledge, experience and resources to deliver complex and challenging projects such as this to the Humber Bridge.

“We can see the bridge from our riverside headquarters in Hull and it’s an iconic sight that, for so many East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire residents, symbolises coming home.”

About 10 million vehicles cross the Humber Bridge every year.

The Humber Bridge deck is suspended from the main bridge cables by the super-strengthened hangers. The three hangers that will be removed for inspection will be replaced by three replacements, supplied, tested and installed by Spencer Group.

The new and old hangers alike have a minimum breaking load of 320 tonnes, so even though the bridge deck sections weigh about 140 tonnes, the three hangers that support them provide a significant factor of safety for the deck section and the heaviest of vehicles crossing the bridge.

Dr Kevin Moore, chief executive of the Humber Bridge Board, said: “This project is essential to the long-term health of the bridge and helps ensure the safety of our millions of users, whether they are in a car, on a bike, or on foot, taking in the spectacular views the structure affords.

“We have worked with Spencer Group on a number of occasions and they have always delivered a first-class engineering solution. We like working with companies like Spencer Group because of the level of innovation and engineering expertise they bring.”

The project has been planned to keep disruption to a minimum, with much of the work expected to take place at night with some lane closures during the off-peak daytime period as well. It is expected to be completed within 20 weeks on-site, with a further eight months of off-site planning and testing.

In 2015, a complex £4 million Humber Bridge project delivered by Spencer Group was nominated for the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award, part of the well-respected British Construction Industry Awards. 

Read more about connectivity in the region here.