Many highway bridges needed to be strengthened in line with Department of Transport loading specifications. The task indirectly involved considerable input from Abington. Consultants WS Atkins and G Maunsell and Partners - both Industrial Members of TWI - had the task of devising schemes for the Midlands link of the M6.
Many hundreds of steel I girders support this section of the M6, one of the most heavily used roads in the country. The girders had thin webs which needed to be strengthened over the bearings, and it was essential that the work should be carried out without interrupting traffic flow. The difficulties of welding heavy stiffeners in cramped locations while the girders were under load led the consultants to approach TWI.
TWI advised that the various strengthening options be laid out on a full-size mock-up of one of the girders to establish the practicability and economy of various design options. The work was monitored by TWI and recommendations made as a result of the tests.
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