Oxford Road Bridge, Manchester

Project name: Oxford Road Bridge, Manchester

Client: University of Manchester

Scope: Mechanical demolition and dismantling, concrete crushing of the bridge over Manchester’s Oxford Road

Duration: 3 weeks

Completion: August 2015

The bridge was built in 1970 and spans over Oxford Road, which is a main route into Manchester city centre. The unusually wide structure was more than just a bridge, as it contained shops and restaurants. The bridge demolition has completely changed the Oxford Road skyline. The Palace Theatre and other historic university halls can now be seen in all their magnificence, without the monster-bridge blocking the view down one of the busiest commuter routes in Europe.

Structural information:

  • 36 meters long and 21 meters wide
  • It weighed 6,000 tonnes
  • Built to hold more than twice its weight, which is the equivalent to 120,000 people
  • Held up by 38 concrete beams with highly pressurised post tensioned steel cables

The project consisted of three phases:

  • Phase 1: Facilitating works/protection strategy
  • Phase 2: The demolition and removal of waste
  • Phase 3: Decanting and reinstatement

The project had to be completed in 21 days, which included:

  • Working with Vinci on in-depth investigation works, weeks before the road closure to establish the structural composition of the bridge and the complex supply of service in, on, and around the bridge and Oxford Road
  • Dilapidation Survey to abutting and surrounding areas
  • Devising and establishing a workable, compliant and effective strategy to guard against damage to property and severe risk to public safety
  • Soft strip of internal aspects of the shop units contained within the bridge structure
  • Manual work at height to separate/divide aspects of the steel and glass canopy (canopy approx. 50 ft high and approx. 1700m2 in area)
  • Installation of temporary works to support the divorced canopy
  • Mechanical demolition of the bridge structure. Completed ahead of schedule to a compliant and well planned methodology within a well-managed and secured exclusion zone
  • This centred around 50 tonne excavators accessing reinforced pre-stressed concrete beams and elements with hydraulic munching attachments and hydraulic shear attachments, specific sections were targeted in a specific sequence in order for the safe demolition to occur
  • The removal of 6,000 tons of resultant hard core, general waste and metallic debris from site. This was segregated on site and placed in specific waste stream skips
  • Removal of all physical protection factors from the site to return Oxford Road to the general use of the public of Manchester

Demolition work was a starting point for Manchester University’s £50 million pound redevelopment of Manchester Business School and Oxford Road. The plans include 40, 500 sq ft of new retail and leisure units.

Click here to view The Demolition Man on Insight TV

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DEMOLITION OF FOOTBRIDGE, OXFORD ROAD 15/8/15