However, despite being commonly referred to as a single bridge, the Rochester crossing is in fact made up of four different structures – the Old Bridge, the New Bridge, the Service Bridge and the Railway Bridge. Valued at £300,000 per annum, FM Conway’s structures division has been delivering an integrated asset management programme – including surfacing, lighting, structural engineering and cleansing works – to ensure the bridges provide a seamless travel experience for motorists.
Challenges and Solutions
With parts of the Old Bridge dating back to 1856, ongoing planned maintenance forms a major part of FM Conway’s day-to-day works. However, it’s not all routine – in June 2018, FM Conway supported the Royal School of Military Engineering (RSME) to carry out a mock demolition exercise.
Peter Moore, Contracts Manager at FM Conway, explains:
“The RSME occasionally use Rochester’s Old Bridge as a location for training exercises, simulating a controlled demolition at a strategic crossing in a war zone.
“To reduce the impact on motorists, the RSME exercise was scheduled to coincide with essential, planned works to the bridge. The traffic management team closed a single lane, allowing the RSME to safely perform the explosives training away from passing traffic while accommodating our workers as they performed crucial structural checks. By working in tandem with the RSME, we were able to minimise overall disruption to motorists.”