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    Elastomeric Bearings – England

    Client: Building Owner

    This project involved a supermarket building which had been constructed on a bridge structure over a main-line railway in the Midlands.  60No elastomeric bearings had been installed beneath the precast concrete beams forming the bridge structure to isolate the supermarket from the vibration of the trains passing beneath.  The Building Owner identified that the bearings had become severely deformed.

    WJM&P were engaged by solicitors acting for the Building Owner to investigate the cause of the deformation of the bearings and to prepare and implement a remedial scheme.  We identified that the bearings had been incorrectly specified causing them to adopt dramatic ‘barrelled’ and ‘sheared’ profiles.

    We prepared a computer model of the bridge structure with the elastomeric bearings modelled as springs.  We commissioned a specialist consultant to measure the vibration characteristics of the bridge to ensure that the stiffness of the replacement bearings were appropriately specified, and we worked closely with the manufacturer of the new bearings to ensure that they fulfilled the design criteria. 

    We monitored the Contractor engaged to replace the original bearings, who worked under difficult conditions on a constrained site.  The replacement works involved jacking up the end of each bridge beam in turn, removing the old bearings and installing the replacement bearings.

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