Camelspace's work on the Grafton Bridge strengthening project

The Iconic Grafton Bridge was originally constructed in 1908 and took two and a half years to complete. At that time, it was claimed to be the biggest span, reinforced concrete arch bridge in the world. How times have moved on.

The heritage bridge was closed in 2008 for seismic strengthening, as an investigation found that it would not withstand a major earthquake and that large vehicles were too heavy to use the bridge.

Access to reinforce the structure, a project scheduled to take until early 2010, posed significant challenges around the provision of unfettered access to the underside of the bridge deck (some 30m from the ground) and ensuring both worker safety and the safety of the drivers on one of Auckland’s busiest motorways below.

Based on their equipment and expertise Camelspace were chosen to provide a solution.

It was important that workers could access all areas of the underside of the bridge for its 100m length and that the work necessary with heavy tooling and high pressure cleaning didn’t result in debris or tooling finding their way onto the road below.

We built a suspended and total decked-out platform 6m wide and 100m long with 4m wide cantilevered split level 'wings' out each side to facilitate access to the outside of the bridge balustrades. The white sheeting in the photo is a Polyetherlene encapsulation material fitted by Camelspace.

In all, over 100 ton of scaffold was 'hung' from the bridge in a truly unique solution.

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