Building Bridges

Bridges form a large part of the UK’s road and rail network with over 72,000 of them across the country. And as contractors begin work on the first phase of HS2 between London and Birmingham, that number is only set to increase. Fortunately, bridges are something we know about at CCL. Our post-tensioning technology has been used to construct new bridges all over the world. We have also engineered and installed bridge bearings for many high-profile projects. Whether it's building new bridges or maintaining and repairing existing ones, CCL has it covered.

Our high-performance post-tensioning technology has been used to construct balanced cantilever road bridges, viaducts, LRT bridges and even wildlife motorway crossings. But why do we advocate post-tensioning for bridge construction? Well, post-tensioning offers a number of benefits over precast structures. Here’s the rundown…

  • Cost Reduction
    Post-tensioning uses less concrete and rebar which can, in turn, mean reduced costs while large area pours also reduce the overall number of pours.
  • Faster Construction
    Less reinforcement means that fixing times are reduced, resulting in faster construction.
  • Innovative Design
    Post-tensioning offers greater architectural freedom. Longer spans and reduced slab depths offer architects the opportunity to design more elegant structures (especially curves).
  • Enhanced Serviceability
    Post-tensioning provides better resistance to cracking and deflection and gives a durable, low maintenance finish.
  • Smaller Carbon Footprint
    Less rebar and less concrete reduce CO2 emissions.

Here's a rundown of some recent bridge-related projects that CCL has delivered...


New Post-tensioned Bridges


CCL carried out the post-tensioning for an elevated bridge extension to the Cityringen line of the Copenhagen Metro system and supplied and installed the post-tensioning systems for an elevated bridge at Orientkaj station.



The Eastern Goods Yard regeneration development at Kings Cross Central in London consists of a college campus, retail and leisure facilities, offices and public spaces. Main access for services is provided by a road bridge across Regent’s Canal. CCL carried out the stressing of 13 no. 26-metre-long precast post-tensioned beams on the new bridge using its XM multistrand system.



CCL supplied and installed its XM post-tensioning system for this impressive cantilever structure on the west coast of Norway. The bridge spans 490 metres and features two motor lanes as well as a pedestrian pathway.



This single-span, 100-metre-long bridge in the North of Lebanon was designed by CCL's specialised engineering division and constructed by CCL using the balanced-cantilever segmental method, meaning each side is built out from the rock face, eventually meeting in the middle. CCL also designed and installed the bridge bearings.



Speed of construction was crucial for this bridge over the Lusail Expressway in Qatar, to allow building work to continue in an adjacent area. Having a team of engineers already on the ground in Qatar facilitated CCL’s rapid response at very short notice.

As well as bridge construction, CCL also designs, manufactures and installs bridge bearings…


Bridge Bearings for New Structures


Over the decades, traffic has become a severe issue on Congleton’s narrow roads. To address this, Cheshire East Council proposed a 5.5 km link road to create a bypass, freeing the town centre of through-traffic and commuters.

CCL designed a variety of bespoke bridge bearings to meet the requirements of the bridge design and challenging local topography.



A bridge deck replacement in Blackpool included the installation of 45 precast concrete beams using CCL's elastomeric bridge bearings beneath the new deck. The Plymouth Road Bridge project involved the removal and replacement of the existing bridge superstructure comprising bridge deck, bearings, bearing shelves and parapets. CCL was engaged to design the most appropriate bearing solution.

The original proposal included six separate bearing schedules. After careful review CCL was able to reduce the number of bearing types to two, providing a cost-effective solution for the client and simplifying the installation process.

As well as new structures, HS2 will involve upgrades to existing structures. CCL has extensive experience in maintaining and repairing bridges all over the world...


Bridge Repair and Strengthening


The Grand Hotel Viaduct in Lebanon, is a continuous eight-span structure with two independent decks. When span five of the bridge was particularly badly damaged. CCL was engaged to replace the damaged section by replacing the external unbonded post-tensioning and substituting the internal broken pre-tensioned strands with equivalent external bonded post-tensioning.



As part of the plans to double passenger capacity at Reading station by 2030, a bridge deck weighing 1000 tonnes has been installed. The deck, which replaces four existing single-span bridges, widens the station's western entrance and provides space for seven tracks to help serve five new platforms. Just 650 mm deep, it is one of the largest orthotropic steel bridge decks in the UK. CCL was commissioned to provide back-span tie down of the deck using its XM post-tensioning system.



When the Gilberdyke Slipper Bridge was damaged following a crash CCL was commissioned to carry out a detailed bearing inspection of the single span steel arch structure and compile a report recommending any necessary remedial action. The bridge spans railway lines and is a vital link to the nearby M62 motorway. To ensure disruption to both road and rail networks was avoided, the inspection was carried out throughout the night.



Built in the 70s, Salim Salam Bridge is one of the oldest concrete bridges in Beirut. CCL was commissioned to carry out extensive rehabilitation works to the bridge to improve safety on this critical structure.

Replacement of the elastomeric bearings involved the lifting of the bridge at the abutments and the free piers to enable installation. A temporary steel support jacking system was required at the free piers before the bridge could be raised. This was designed and installed by CCL. Four mechanical pot bearings were installed at each side of the 38 fixed piers.



CCL designed and manufactured bespoke bridge bearing to fit within restricted spatial requirements for this road over rail bridge in Somerset. Bearings supplied included free-sliding, guided, fixed and uplift bearings.

If you have a project on the horizon, for a bridge or any other kind of concrete structure, you can speak to us about:

  • Specialist consulting for post-tensioning, bearings and strengthening
  • PT design, manufacture and installation (new and strengthening)
  • CFRP supply and installation
  • Void grouting
  • Bearing inspection, design, manufacture and installation (new and replacement)

Find out more about our post-tensioning systems: Download Brochure.

Find out more about our repair and strengthening services: Download Brochure.