Bridge Engineer's Blog

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

Introducing the works on the Old Bridge

The Old Bridge is the jewel in the crown of the Rochester Bridge Trust’s three river crossings. Opened in 1914, the structure’s three steel bowstring trusses are recognisable as a… read more →

New life for hard hats

A lot of people are involved in the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project, which means a significant amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) is needed. Much of this can be used… read more →

Reducing the carbon footprint of the New Bridge

Early on in the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project we told you one of our goals was to ‘lose’ the New Bridge, with a change to the height of the lamp… read more →

Employee of the Month scheme recognises efforts during covid-19 pandemic

Commitment to work and colleagues is being celebrated in a new Employee of the Month award scheme launched as part of the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project. The award was introduced… read more →

What are expansion joints?

Did you know that bridges can grow? Not by much, but if you walk along one of Rochester’s bridges on a hot day it will be a tiny bit bigger… read more →

A natural approach to protecting infrastructure

If you’re doing some DIY at home you might move furniture out of the room, or put a dust sheet over it, to protect it while you’re hard at work… read more →

Inspections carried out to keep site safe

The Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project was put on hold while we reviewed the programme of works in relation to social distancing measures. We’ve already touched upon a few of the… read more →

Think before you throw

We need your help. The Rochester Bridge Trust has a problem, and we can’t solve it on our own. It’s a problem that’s bad for the bridges, the environment and… read more →

Public defibrillator provided near Old Bridge

Life-saving equipment is now available to the public, as an automated external defibrillator (AED) has been installed on Strood Esplanade. The defibrillator, which is provided by the Rochester Bridge Trust,… read more →

Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project to restart

Work on the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project – which had been halted as a result of the Covid-19 crisis – has begun to resume. The site had been shut down… read more →

Donation to support construction workers’ wellbeing

A construction industry charity has now benefitted from more than £500 in donations thanks to the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project. The Lighthouse Club, which is committed to providing financial and… read more →

Training prepares team to lower injured workers to safety

Work on the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project may be on hold, but our focus on safety is not.  Before the lockdown began, lead contractor FM Conway carried out a training… read more →

Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project put on hold

The Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project has been halted until further notice, as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. The site has been shut down and made safe and both lanes… read more →

Waterproofing: vital protection from the elements

For a substance that is so useful to us in so many ways, water can also be pretty unforgiving to the built environment. Whether it’s one of February’s storms or… read more →

Temporary change to road layout on Rochester’s New Bridge

Motorists are advised that Rochester’s New Bridge is to be temporarily limited to one lane while essential works are carried out. The works are part of the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment… read more →

This is why the cycle lane is temporarily suspended on the New Bridge

When the majority of people think of ‘road users’ or ‘bridge users’ they tend to think of cars and other motor vehicles. However bridge users are much more diverse. We’ve… read more →

Our no messing about approach to dust

No matter how often you get your feather duster or vacuum cleaner out, we all know how quickly dust and detritus can build up around the house, especially after DIY,… read more →

Why is there so much scaffolding on Rochester Esplanade?

We’ve been asked by a few people why the scaffolding on Rochester Esplanade is so extensive and what it is for. Its purpose is to give the engineers a safe… read more →

Staying safe in stormy weather

It’s no secret that a popular topic of conversation among the British is the weather. The forecast is always varied and – if the average grumble on the street is… read more →

Free talk on the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project

At the Trust we enjoy talking to people about our work, we also take safety seriously, and for this reason it is considered a sensible action to postpone this event,… read more →

Potholes – what are they and how do we stop them?

One of the most annoying things experienced by road users (apart from sitting in traffic, of course) is potholes. These are frustrating for cyclists and motorists not just in terms… read more →

Why is there a boat under Rochester’s bridges?

Anyone who pauses as they walk along Rochester Esplanade or Old Bridge may notice there is often a boat loitering on the river near the bridges. It’s not a pleasure… read more →

The river wall: an overlooked feature

Of all the structures that the Rochester Bridge Trust owns and maintains, you’d be forgiven for not including the words ‘river wall’ on the list. While a bridge is an… read more →

Staying safe when installing scaffolding

Anyone passing on or near Rochester’s bridges recently will have noticed an array of scaffolding hiding parts of the structures from view. Indeed, this web page has already explained encapsulation,… read more →

Keeping the bridges open to pedestrians

Previously, we’ve talked about traffic management and the importance of keeping road users safe as they travel through the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project. However road users is a much broader… read more →

Double donation for construction charity

Wellbeing in the workplace has been given an early Christmas present thanks to a double donation.  FM Conway, Lead Contractor on the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project, agreed to donate one… read more →

Keeping a lid on noise

Everyone involved in the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project is committed to showing consideration to the community, and one of the ways we are doing this is by taking measures to… read more →

Making light of future work with LEDs

This Bridge Engineer’s Blog has shared a number of posts about lighting. We’ve told you about lighting designs and temperature, about the work being done to create the lighting, we’ve… read more →

Historic charity recognised for commitment to modern construction

An ancient charity has been recognised for its work in improving the image of the modern construction industry. The Rochester Bridge Trust, which has owned and maintained bridges at Rochester… read more →

Steelwork gives a glimpse of history

As work continues on the Old Bridge, details that are normally hidden from view are being revealed and help tell a story about the structure’s history. Visible from the scaffolding… read more →

Visualising the future

A modern tool that has proved invaluable during the planning and design of the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project is the ability to create 3D visualisations. As you can imagine, we… read more →

Working to create new heritage lighting

As part of the preparations for the Rochester Bridges Refurbishment Project we are working on improvements to the heritage lighting on the Old Bridge, Strood Esplanade and Rochester Esplanade. We’ve… read more →

Encapsulating the bridges for safety

When looking at the bridges from the riverside, people have a good view of the length of the Old Bridge, part of which is currently covered in vinyl sheeting. This… read more →

Filling the void – a history of the Rochester Esplanade lavatories

The Rochester Bridge Trust can now confirm the void left by the disused lavatories under Rochester Esplanade has been filled. When we have previously shared information about that part of… read more →

The Service Bridge, an update

While the upstream lane of the New Bridge has been closed, a major refurbishment has been undertaken on the Service Bridge. This separate bridge supports all the pipes and cables… read more →

Refurbishing the New Bridge, an update

As we prepare to slightly adjust the temporary layout of the New Bridge, here’s an update on progress to date.  The downstream footway and cycleway were removed temporarily so that… read more →

Illuminating historical travel

Do you know what’s missing from most of the historic paintings of Rochester Bridge? Well, not missing as such, more that it’s a thing we take for granted, but that… read more →

Hay for an historic health and safety notice

One of the (we think many) things that makes the Rochester Bridge Trust special is its adherence to tradition. There has been an unbroken chain of Senior Wardens since 1383;… read more →

The underdeck – an introduction

While there’s so much activity going on above the bridges, it can be easy to miss the fact there’s also a lot going on underneath. The more observant among you… read more →

Right turn closure off Rochester’s New Bridge

Motorists are advised there is to be a temporary closure of the right turn from the New Bridge onto Rochester Esplanade. The traffic management will begin with a series of… read more →

Refurbishing the Service Bridge

As refurbishment work progresses on the New Bridge, the focus of activities has also turned to the Service Bridge. A 2015 Principal Inspection of the bridge – which means the… read more →

Introducing the Service Bridge

Did you know the Rochester Bridge Trust owns and maintains three bridges between Rochester and Strood? The Old Bridge and the New Bridge are the two crossings everyone recognises, and… read more →

Overnight road closures in Strood

Motorists are advised that closures of Strood High Street for Medway Council’s works will lead to an effective closure of Rochester’s bridges overnight this weekend. Medway Council’s contractor will be… read more →

Intermittent lane restrictions on Rochester’s Old Bridge

Motorists are advised there will be temporary single lane closures on the Old Bridge at Rochester overnight on Friday and Saturday nights from Friday, 12th July. The works are part… read more →

The Third Lane

When the New Bridge was officially opened on 15th April 1970 – by Princess Margaret – it was built to have three lanes, the roadway we use today has two and… read more →

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… read more →

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 Bridge… read more →

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… read more →

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… read more →

Introducing the Project Manager and The Contractor

The Rochester Bridge 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… read more →

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 Bridge Refurbishment Project. The changes are… read more →

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.… read more →

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… read more →

Lane restrictions as Rochester Bridge 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,… read more →

Refurbishing the New Bridge

The start of visible works for the Rochester Bridge 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… read more →

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… read more →

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… read more →

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… read more →

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… read more →

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… read more →

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… read more →

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… read more →

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… read more →

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… read more →

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… read more →

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… read more →

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… read more →

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… read more →

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 –… read more →

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… read more →

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… read more →

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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