Making a vital and much-used connection to Fulham, the famous Putney Bridge was a wooden structure originally built in 1729, becoming only the second crossing of the Thames (London Bridge was built first). The structure lasted well over 100 years until, in 1886, work was completed on the stone bridge that stands there to this day. The current bridge is scheduled to close for six months while essential maintenance, resurfacing and reinforcement work takes place: Newman Building Solutions, a leading structural repair company who make extensive use of Twistfix materials, were contracted by Wandsworth Council to provide a full assessment of the structural issues and to use this to design a complete, non-intrusive reinforcement method.
Putney Bridge, a Grade II* listed structure, spans across five arches of granite and Cornish stone; the span of the brick arches, constructed from yellow London stock bricks, leads from ground level to the bank side. Each arch has been filled in for access and storage paths and, due to age and stress from increased loads and vibration, has started to fail, leading to much delaminating and cracking of ring arch brickwork. Cracks were noted on spandrel walls as well as extensive cracking throughout the many soffits.
During the six months of the bridge's closure, large areas of masonry will be subject to reinforcement by contractors from Newman Building Solutions, who will complete the work with the use of Twistfix's innovative masonry reinforcement systems. This will include the installation of more than 3000 metres of bed-joint strengthening, increasing the capacity of the arches and securely stitching areas of cracked brickwork. Reinforcements to the soffits will also be installed along with brick-pier stabilisation using Twistfix pinning ties and specialised resin injection to offer a professional, durable repair.
To match the original aesthetic of the historic bridge while providing further reinforcement, large areas of masonry will be repointed with grout injection and lime mortar to achieve NHL 5 standard, offering an all-but-invisible repair solution. Once complete, the strength and effectiveness of the reinforcements will be confirmed with strict digital load tests, meeting and usually excelling all required load expectations.
Work will soon begin on restoring and reinforcing Putney Bridge and we look forward to sharing further updates from Twistfix-registered contractors Newman Building Solutions as we receive them.
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