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Don Valley Viaduct Bridge Strengthening


Don Valley Viaduct Bridge Strengthening -

Joined up thinking from Van Elle delivers the right results for historic bridge

In March 2019, we were successfully awarded the contract by BAM Nuttall’s HEP team to help on the Don Viaduct Bridge Strengthening in Aberdeen, originally built in 1880. Working collaboratively, with all parties attending ongoing workshops, Van Elle & BAM along with the designers AECOM established a joint schedule of works based on GI (Ground Investigation) knowledge available at the time.


The project was to install piles that would form part of a new shock absorber anchorage assembly that will allow the Don Viaduct to remain in use for many more years to come. The schedule of works included the installation of 32 no. 762mm Spliced Circular Hollow Section (CHS) piles to a depth of 10m (infilled with reinforced concrete) using one of our wheeled T10,000 and Tracked T10,000 RRV (Road Rail Vehicle) Colmar’s which incorporated a side grip Movax and 2.5tn BSP hammer.

CHS casings were driven utilising the RRV’s working in Rules of the Route possessions and following on from the Continuous Flight Auger (CFA) piling to mitigate the affect of the hydrostatic forces from below. A final pile depth of 17.5m was achieved, filling with concrete to support final pile and installing a substantial reinforcing cage, utilising one of our SR-30 CFA Rig’s.

The project presented opportunities for the business to unearth innovative solutions through joined up thinking across our divisional disciplines to solve issues as they emerged. Working in collaboration with our Specialist Piling team, we finally installed 40 no. working piles (10 no. x 4 corners of the Don Viaduct structure) in the middle of May 2019, around 7-10 days ahead of published schedules. The technical knowledge and experience provided pivotal in the final solution delivered on the prestigious project.

Several commendations have been received from the client, thanking Van Elle for a successful programme of works, which has given BAM Nuttall the best chance of succeeding in delivering on time the next phase of delivery on HEP.

We are looking forward to working alongside BAM Nuttall in the future on other network rail infrastructure projects.

For further information on this project please contact Dean Holland (dean.holland@van-elle.co.uk) or John Allsop (john.allsop@van-elle.co.uk) within our RAIL services team who can talk more about our success on the rail network.