Many organisations are involved in the Rochester Bridges Refurbishment Project, but the contractor on the ground is FM Conway.
The award-winning infrastructure services company was established as a family business in 1961. Based in Sevenoaks, it is responsible for getting the refurbishment work done on time and to the high quality specifications drawn up by Bridge Engineer Arcadis.
It’s FM Conway’s job to carry out the extensive, £8.5 million restoration of the New Bridge, the Service Bridge and the Old Bridge, as well as the areas of Rochester and Strood Esplanades that are owned by the Trust. FM Conway has planned the work to run in phases, ending on Rochester Esplanade, with below deck refurbishment work also going on throughout the programme.
As Term Maintenance Contractor to the Trust, FM Conway is already familiar with the bridges, but that didn’t mean they had an easy job winning the contract. They were put through a strict tendering process, eventually being selected because of their ability to appreciate our requirement for the best quality materials and workmanship.
One of the tasks FM Conway is particularly looking forward to is the joint replacement work to the bridge decks. This will take place on the New Bridge in autumn 2019, and on the Old Bridge in spring 2020.
Structures Director Matt Smith explains: “We will use a mechanical joint system for the replacement. Joints will be made up of two metal carrier rails running across the width of the deck, with an elastomeric insert linking between the two.
“The advantage of this approach is efficiency – the team will be able to assemble the system on site and install the joint in phases. It means works can take place outside of peak traffic hours, so meeting the Trust’s requirement to minimise disruption to road users.”
It’s important to us at the Trust to keep the public as updated as possible with regard to the progress of the refurbishment project. In addition to our own external communications, FM Conway has provided a dedicated Public Liaison Officer, who is out and about in Rochester and Strood, talking to businesses and residents as much as possible. Do say hello to Helen if you see her, or get in touch if you’d like to be added to her list of contacts.
FM Conway is committed to bringing its full expertise, resources, technology and innovation to this project, and we are pleased to see their enthusiasm and dedication to the works so far.