Warwickshire County Council required access to the abutment of Tunnel Canal Bridge, a bridge carrying the A423 Southam to Banbury road in Fenny Compton to investigate corrosion of the main steel beams at the integral interface. Sky Scaffolding Midlands Ltd developed an innovative solution to access the beams that were at the top of a steep embankment.
We did not want the scaffold to be easily accessible from the canal towpath below so supporting the scaffold from the path was not an option, and the main beam flanges were greater than could be accommodated by standard scaffold steel clamps so supporting the scaffold from above was not an option either.
We opted to install anchors into the bridge abutment to provide lateral restraint to the scaffold.
The scaffold was designed so there was no easy access from the canal towpath.
The scaffold provided a walkway beneath the main bridge beams, with steps up to the area between the beams.
Installation of the Anchors
The bridge abutment was heavily congested with structural reinforcement bars and it was important that our anchors did not interfere with or damage this in any way.
To install the anchors safely, we scanned the bridge abutment with specialist equipment to locate the reinforcement bars before carrying out any drilling.
View of the anchors installed into the bridge abutment.
So Where is the Tunnel?
This is an interesting stretch of the Oxford Canal that is marked ‘tunnel’ on OS Maps, however, no tunnel exists today. Completed in 1776, Fenny Compton Tunnel was built to take the Oxford Canal under high ground. The tunnel created quite a bottleneck on the canal, and in 1838 the Oxford Company brought the land above the tunnel and made plans to open it up.
The canal now runs through a deep cutting and there is little evidence of the tunnel to be seen.