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Reading Bridge


Supporting a three-lane highway and two footways over the River Thames, VolkerLaser delivered major strengthening works to this historic sprandel arch structure; an essential part of the strategic transport network for the Berkshire area.

Key Services Provided

  • Carbon fibre reinforcement
  • Parapet and general concrete repairs
  • Void and filling work

Reading Bridge is a 90 year old spandrel arch structure. As part of the necessary strengthening works, 1,500m3 of foam concrete was pumped into the south approach ramp of the structure, then cored through the deck before it was filled in from the top. Grouting then took place three months after the concrete filling to allow settlement of the concrete. To complete the overall strengthening of the bridge, the abutments were thickened utilising a sheer bolt system.

The use of carbon fibre strengthening on the project was innovative; thin, strong and flexible, carbon fibre plates were designed and installed to provide a cost-effective solution which did not detract visually from the original design of the structure.

As part of the programme, a series of off-peak lane closures were scheduled, including some night-time closures in order to carry out works under the centre line of the carriageway. During a full two-week closure, the above deck was stripped and carbon fibre rods were installed in order to waterproof and strengthen the beams.

The team maintained a proactive approach throughout, ensuring successful collaborative engagement with the client throughout the works. Thanks to VolkerLaser, the reinforced and stabilised Reading Bridge will now offer a safer, more durable and trusted route across the River Thames for thousands of vehicles every day.

Project sheets

Facts and figures

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