Bridge foundations

Installing bridge foundations is always an interesting challenge! River and watercourse banks are usually soft although there may be hard gravels or boulders a few metres below water level. Selecting the right screw pile to match the geology is important. The screw may need to have relatively large diameter final extensions to give sufficient lateral and vertical resistance. We produce piles with working loads up to 225kN on a regular basis with much larger capacity available if required. Piles can be protected against corrosion using a variety of tested methods.

The additional benefit of using screw piles is that increased support is provided for river banks. They are also particularly useful where the avoidance of cement is an environmental benefit. Temporary bridges also benefit from screw piles as they can be easily removed and reused.

Case Study - footbridge in area renowned for winter floods

A project we supported was to create foundations for a footbridge in an area renowned for winter floods which had washed earlier bridges out to sea. The soil included small boulders up to 300mm diameter, down to a depth of 3m. Thereafter the soil was very soft until a depth of 12m when strength improved significantly. To provide solid foundations, 89mm piles were driven to maximum torque at depths of 14-15m and despite the bridge being occasionally submerged under 3m of water, the foundations and bridge remain intact to today.

You can see another of our bridge foundation cases studies from a project on the River Trent.

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