Bromley By Bow, Kent, H-beam Installation & Extraction

Bromley By BowBromley By BowBromley By Bow


The scheme was to refurbish and strengthen an existing Victorian steel rail bridge for London Underground, in Kent. Large section of the works involved shrouding the bridge in scaffolding to allow the main work to be carried out. The scaffolding in turn weighed approximately 800 tonnes and had to be supported on steel H-beams. The bridge crossed the River Lee and the River Lee Canal.


Ale Piling carried out the installation and extraction of all of the H-beams on the River lee underneath the bridge, working from a large pontoon barge and contending with difference in the tide daily of about 6 m.

There was no access to the site other than via the river, hence meaning that our rig had to be loaded at Tilbury docks and sailed up the River Thames into Bow Creek, which is a tributary of the River Lee. Once in position on the river, the work barge was moved into position, daily or to suit by tugboat. For the installation and extraction of the H-beams, some of which would not fit underneath the bridge in one section, Ale Piling used their largest side grip piling hammer. Where the beams would not fit in one section they were welded in situ or cut to assist the installation or extraction. All of this work was carried out in shifts to suit the tidal conditions.

Materials used were 10-14 m long 254 x 254 x 154kgm H-beams.

With the ground conditions, the water varied from 1 m to 5 m deep. River silt, approximately 1 m. London clay


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