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Seven month rail viaduct repair project a success

Lanes Group plc’s Rail Division has completed a substantial project to repair a viaduct carrying the Piccadilly Line over a river in West London.

In a programme work that lasted seven months, large sections of brickwork on the viaduct across the River Brent near Alperton were replaced, reset, and repointed.

Remote monitoring equipment has been installed to assess whether there is movement in the structure as part of an ongoing programme of planned and preventative maintenance. The scope of the repairs carried out on the viaduct was expanded after extensive scaffolding was erected, giving Lanes Rail maintenance teams full access to the structure for the first time.

Lanes Rail Division Director, Matthew Todd, said: “This was one of the biggest bridge and viaduct repair projects we have completed for Transport for London. It demonstrates our ability to respond flexibly to manage projects where the scope and challenges change, requiring effective control of budgets and timescales, while delivering a high-quality maintenance solution for our client.”

Steve Demwell, Lanes Rail Project Manager, said: “Time and weather had played its part in weakening brickwork along bridge parapets, a process accelerated by the growth of plants in the brick mortar. Where this had happened, the brickwork was cut out and new bricks mortared into place. The repair work has left the viaduct structurally sound for the foreseeable future.”

Six bricklayers worked on the project, using 6,800 new bricks, as well as re-setting original ones, and carrying out 400 square metres of pointing. The whole structure was sealed with a specialist solution to help prevent future root ingress and weather seal the bricks.

Trees were also removed close to the bridge to minimise the risk of root ingress and seeds lodging on parapets, where they could take hold and cause further damage.

The digital monitoring equipment, installed by Lanes Group’s Professional Services department, will remotely record and report movement data for the next 12 months, which will help establish the structure’s long-term maintenance needs.