The A19 St George’s Bridge was built in 2001 and is the northern gateway in and out of Doncaster, catering for 44,000 vehicles movements per day. When refurbishment and repairs became inevitable, Freyssinet was appointed to design, supply and install new expansion joints on the bridge.

  • Name of the owner & client
    Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Delivery date of the project
    September 2015

Expansion joint replacement

Expansion joint replacement

Mat expansion joints deteriorated after 10-year service life

St George’s Bridge in Doncaster, near Sheffield, was constructed in 2001, with rubber mat type expansion joints to give 350 mm of movement. After 10 years, the mats had become worn, loose and required regular maintenance, indicating that they were reaching the end of their lifespan.
Freyssinet was then appointed for the expansion joint replacement of the structure, an operation including the design, supply and installation of the new devices on the bridge.

WP350 cantilever joint selected for its extensive lifespan

Following assessment to establish the best expansion joint to suit the requirements of the structure and the client, a WP joint, namely a cantilever finger joint with no wearing parts, was selected. The joint had a proven whole life of around 40 years, meaning that future maintenance on the bridge and subsequent disruption would be minimized.
The gap and offset in the structure were considered and the design of the joint tailored to the site conditions. The finger joint used was smaller in plan area than the rubber mat joint it replaced, which reduced the possibility of skidding and/or slipping in adjacent breaking areas.

  • 44,000
    Vehicles per day on St George’s Bridge
  • 40
    Years of proven life for the WP joint
  • 5
    Meters resurfaced around either side of each joint
Expansion joint replacement

Increased capital investment at year one, but increased overall longevity

After removing the existing joints, Freyssinet’s in-house hydro-demolition team Aquaforce removed the surrounding concrete, before the WP350 expansion joints were installed at both ends of the structure. The new joints were fixed to the deck in the recesses created using hydro-demolition, which required increased capital investment at year one, but increased its overall longevity, resulting in lower lifetime costs.
The works undertaken by Freyssinet also included formwork, planning, waterproofing, installation of rubber drainage and resurfacing of 5 m around either side of each joint. The works were completed ahead of schedule and to the satisfaction of the client.
As stated by Matthiew Dronfield, Head of Repair division at Freyssinet UK, “Freyssinet is fortunate that the wide range of solutions manufactured in the group can be used to find the ideal solution to match expenditure and whole life expectancy.”

We have been pleased with the work Freyssinet carried out in what was a complex and major project. The work progressed smoothly and was completed in time for Doncaster’s St Leger Festival Week – the biggest event in the borough’s calendar.”

“These improvements have made our road network more resilient. The high-quality bridge joints will have an extensive lifespan, which should avoid the need for repairs for the foreseeable future.”

Joe Blackham  
Doncaster councillor and cabinet member for transportation

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