Email: helen.warne@rbt.org.uk

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.

Lane restrictions on Rochester’s New Bridge

Motorists are advised there will be temporary single lane closures on the New Bridge at Rochester overnight for four nights from Monday, 17th June. The works are part of the Rochester Bridges Refurbishment Project, and are to enable the removal of the final sections of a redundant sewer pipe. This will be carried out by […]

Lane restrictions on Rochester’s New Bridge

Motorists are advised there will be a temporary single lane closure on the New Bridge at Rochester overnight on Monday, 3rd June. The works are part of the Rochester Bridges Refurbishment Project, and are to enable the extension of the upstream protection barrier at the Strood end of the crossing. This will be carried out […]

Digging up Rochester Esplanade – an introduction

Located next to a medieval Bridge Chapel and a Norman Castle, it’s easy to forget that Rochester Esplanade near the end of Rochester Bridge is a relatively new construction. The area of Esplanade between the bridges and just beyond the entrance to Rochester Castle is owned by the Rochester Bridge Trust. The medieval crossing was […]

Modernising the New Bridge – parapet and lighting works

As many travellers will have noticed, there’s a temporary road layout on the New Bridge. The layout of the bridge has been adjusted to remove the footway and cycle lane temporarily, shifting the two traffic lanes closer to the railway bridge. This enables work to be carried out on the upstream side of the New […]

Introducing the Project Manager and The Contractor

The Rochester Bridges Refurbishment Project is an 18-month scheme to refurbish the three bridges owned by the Rochester Bridge Trust. The work is paid for by the Trust – no funding comes from the public purse – and has been planned as an additional overhaul to complement the routine maintenance that is carried out on […]

Temporary road layout for New Bridge

The New Bridge at Rochester is to be given a temporary road layout to facilitate the safety of staff and travellers during the Rochester Bridges Refurbishment Project. The changes are of relevance to pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Previously advertised overnight single lane closures of the New Bridge will continue until Friday, 3rd May. On Thursday, […]

Footway closure on Rochester Esplanade

Pedestrians are advised that part of the riverside footway on Rochester Esplanade is to be temporarily closed. The closure will be implemented on Thursday, 23rd May, running until spring 2020. During this period pedestrians will be asked to use the footway on the far side of the road, alongside The Crown public house. Parking provision […]

A change of focus around Rochester’s bridges

When you hear the words “Rochester Bridge” what do you think of? An historic crossing? The Old Bridge? The more vague idea of a bridge that gets you over a river? Whatever your answer, it’s probably highly unlikely that you think of the New Bridge or the set of three structures owned by the Rochester […]

Lane restrictions as Rochester Bridges Refurbishment Project begins

Pedestrians, cyclists and motorists are advised there are to be a series of overnight, temporary, single lane closures to the New Bridge between Rochester and Strood. On Monday, 22nd April, the Rochester Bridges Refurbishment Project will commence with night-time preparatory work. This will run for two nights, from 8pm to 5am, and will involve the […]

Refurbishing the New Bridge

The start of visible works for the Rochester Bridges Refurbishment Project is imminent, with the programme running in phases, beginning on the New Bridge. Which means now is the perfect… read more →

Safety during the refurbishment

Traffic cones and information signs are a fairly common sight on our roads, including when we’ve carried out work on Rochester’s bridges. For many they are an annoyance, for the people working on the site – and for many of those annoyed travellers too – they are important safety measures. The Trust’s main objective is […]

Maintaining a listed building

We’ve previously mentioned that the Old Bridge is a ‘listed building’ but what does this actually mean? In simple terms a listed building is a building or structure that has historical significance. This is often because it displays a particularly good or rare example of architectural style, but it could be for other reasons, such […]

Trust “recruits” female engineering role model

If you spot an engineer with a doll on one of Rochester’s bridges, they’re not having a play date but are instead taking part in an initiative to inspire primary school children. The Lottie Tour is an annual event run by the Women’s Engineering Society, when organisations share photographs of Lottie Dolls on site at […]

Contract awarded for bridges refurbishment

Three of Rochester’s bridges are set to benefit from a multi-million pound makeover with the start of a major refurbishment programme delivered at no cost to the public. FM Conway will officially begin work as lead contractor to the Rochester Bridges Refurbishment Project in early April, 2019. The extensive refurbishment project will see the Old […]

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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