Bridge Engineers’ Blog

All of these updates can be found in the News section of our website. Here we collect together those items from the Bridge Engineers’ Blog that relate specifically to the Rochester Bridges Refurbishment Project.

Geotechnical investigations to inform Esplanade plans

We’ve mentioned that preparations for the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment have been going on behind the scenes for some time, but not all of the preparations have been hidden. In autumn 2016 – and for some time after – you may remember the investigations on Rochester Esplanade. The work was only scheduled to take a few […]

Looking to the past, planning for the future

To ensure our plans for the future do credit to the designs of the past, we regularly check photographs and plans from our archives. This is particularly important for our work to upgrade the ornate lighting, which must be in keeping with the style of the Old Bridge. In this photograph you can see that […]

Archive research informs modern designs

While our work to refurbish Rochester’s bridges is all about the future, the best way to go about the task is by taking note of the past. This means many… read more →

New sight lines – for views and safety

One of the most popular views of the Old Bridge is from the Rochester Esplanade, overlooking the Georgian balustrade. It’s the place where the majority of photos of the bridges are taken, including selfies with the lions, and where people like to stop and pause. Only people don’t tend to stop and pause for very […]

Ecology survey – results

How much notice do you take of bats? They’re not the most common of wildlife encountered on a day-to-day basis, but many of us are lucky enough to see them emerge at dusk. Of significance for the Rochester Bridge Trust is the knowledge those bats need to live somewhere. In 2017, in preparation for the […]

Collating the numbers

The more eagle-eyed among you may have noticed a few overnight – temporary – additions to our bridges. These are automatic traffic counters and they have been installed to ensure we have as much information as possible about traffic using the bridges before the Rochester Bridges Refurbishment Project begins in 2019. Comprising pneumatic tubes placed across […]

Working in partnership

While out and about in Rochester you may have noticed people in high visibility clothing working on or around the bridges. It’s highly likely you’ve spotted Peter, Shaun, Jack or one of their colleagues from our Term Maintenance Contractor FM Conway keeping the bridges tidy and undertaking various works such as the installation of security […]

Why do Rochester’s bridges need to be refurbished?

Since the Rochester Bridge Trust was formed in 1391, it has had one main responsibility: to provide passage over, under or across the River Medway at Rochester. To meet the absolute minimum for that responsibility, the Trust: Ensures the bridges are in good condition. Keeps the bridges open to traffic. There are any number of […]

Introduction from the Bridge Clerk

Being the Chief Executive of the Rochester Bridge Trust is a great privilege and honour. As a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, I follow in the footsteps of… read more →

Material decision is a tight problem

The preparations for our upcoming refurbishment project involve considering lots of different strands of work, one of which relates to Rochester Esplanade. As regular readers will know, the Trust owns the end of Rochester Esplanade nearest the bridges. We are still developing our designs to improve the area opposite the Bridge Chamber, adding benches and […]

Rochester bridge refurbishment 2018, advance notice

The Rochester Bridge Trust is preparing to carry out a major refurbishment of Rochester’s bridges, and this blog post is to introduce you to the project, to reassure you and to ask for your patience. The refurbishment will include work on the 104-year-old Old Bridge, the New Bridge and the Service Bridge in between the […]

Sympathetic lighting for a listed bridge

When people think about ‘old’ gas lanterns, they tend to imagine a warm orange glow, but that’s not necessarily the reality. Instead, the colour of light produced by a gas lantern was dependent on the mixture of gas being burned, rather than the heat it burned with. Back in 1914, when the Old Bridge was […]

New ornate lighting for the Old Bridge

We’ve already mentioned prototype designs for new ornate lighting on our Old Bridge, but why do we need to replace what’s there? There are many reasons, but in brief – just like you occasionally need to re-wire a house – the wiring for the bridge’s lighting is nearing the end of its life. By replacing […]

Shedding light on new designs

In another step towards our future refurbishment works, we’ve been to see the prototype designs for the improved ornate lighting on the Old Bridge and Esplanade. The purpose of the… read more →

Planning to make changes – removal of a plaque

Those with a keen interest in the Old Bridge may be aware the Trust recently put in a listed building consent application to remove a plaque. The plaque in question is found under one of the large lions at the Rochester end of the bridge. As this has been on the Old Bridge since it […]

Ecology survey to build up picture of wild bridge users

As part of long-term plans to give Rochester’s bridges a thorough overhaul, investigations have been taking place to build up an understanding about every aspect of the bridges and how… read more →

Missing piece

Despite having an extensive archive containing hundreds of years of documents relating to bridge maintenance and construction, there are still one or two minor things we don’t know about the bridges. These are all incidental details that don’t have any impact on the general safety of the bridges, but they are things we would like […]

Inspections on the Esplanade

The Rochester Bridge Trust is known for its ownership of and responsibility for the bridges between Rochester and Strood, but did you know we also own a section of the… read more →

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