18 February 2013

James Fisher Strainstall wins structural health contract

James FIsher Strainstall wins contract to provide structural health monitoring to new Forth Replacement Crossing.

  • Multi-million pound contract involves the provision of crucial monitoring technology and engineering support to this very significant Scottish transport infrastructure project
  • Builds upon James Fisher Strainstall’s acknowledged skills and expertise in the structural monitoring of key UK and international civil engineering developments

The new Forth Replacement Crossing is to be a cable-stayed bridge carrying a motorway with two general lanes of traffic plus hard shoulder in either direction. Supported by three slender single column towers, the completed structure will be 2.7 km long including its approach viaducts.

Designed to complement the existing road and rail crossings over the Firth of Forth, the new bridge is the result of extensive studies commissioned by Transport Scotland since 2006, involving international teams of engineers. Final design and construction is currently being undertaken by the Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC) consortium, comprising Hochtief, Dragados, American Bridge International and Morrisons Construction. The client for the £790 million bridge construction contract is the Scottish Government.

Richard Burmeister, Managing Director at JF Strainstall, commented:

“JF Strainstall is extremely proud to have been asked to partner with FCBC in providing the crucial structural health monitoring package of services and technology for the new Forth Replacement Crossing. This new bridge over the Firth of Forth is a significant infrastructure investment for Scotland and we are pleased to be able to play our part in providing the required structural health monitoring technology and services. This contract award is a further demonstration of the international name and reputation of JF Strainstall in the provision of structural health monitoring both for new build civil engineering projects as well as the protection of important heritage structures.”

The contract announced today will see James Fisher and Sons plc's subsidiary JF Strainstall provide a package of technology and services comprising a comprehensive structural health monitoring system for the new cable-stayed bridge. The company will apply a range of sophisticated monitoring technologies to the structure, allowing its precise movements and loadings to be monitored in real time, both during the construction phase as well as throughout the service life of the new bridge. These include tri-axial strain gauges and accelerometers, load cells, temperature sensors, displacement transducers, and automated monitoring and deformation analysis based on global navigation satellite systems.

A key aspect of structural health monitoring is in data processing and analysis, and JF Strainstall will supply its highly advanced Bridgewatch™ software for this purpose. This integrated package provides a comprehensive suite of web accessible tools providing real-time information on the structure as well as archiving of data recording throughout its service life.

JF Strainstall is ideally placed to provide the type of structural monitoring required by FCBC. The company has an in-house multidisciplinary team that includes specialist staff with extensive civil engineering construction experience as well as skilled mechanical and electronic engineers. JF Strainstall also boasts an extremely impressive track record on the structural monitoring of bridges, including the Jiangyin Yangtze Bridge in China, the Golden Jubilee footbridges of London’s Hungerford railway bridge, as well as in monitoring aspects of other major civil construction projects such as Crossrail.