Safety Visit

Highways England chief executive pays a visit to Ouse Bridge Replacement Scheme.

As part of his regional safety tours Highways England’s Jim O Sullivan visited Area 12 in June to see for himself the major enhancement scheme underway on Ouse Bridge.

The visit started with presentations from A-one+ explaining why the scheme came about, Jacobs talking about optioneering and design and ended with A-one+ talking through scheme and site statistics.

The 1.6KM bridge was completed in 1976 connecting the final section of the M62 between Leeds and Hull. Spanning the River Ouse at Goole with a maximum mid-span height of 30 metres, it houses 208 bridge bearings over 28 piers, providing a resting surface between the piers and the bridge deck to allow controlled movement, minimising stress on the structure.


Over time bridge bearings can deteriorate leading to corrosion and we need to carry out the work to prevent damage to the structure and safeguard the life of the bridge.

To replace the bearings, we need to create jacking points by fabricating and lifting 832 steel outstands weighing half a tonne each and bolting them onto the existing bridge beams 25 metres above ground level. This will provide temporary support to the bridge during replacements. We had to develop a bespoke full-size mock-up, replicating every detail of the working area to help develop safe delivery processes and train our operatives for the work which is repetitive and means working at height.



The site mobilised in May 2018 and jacking started in January 2019, so far, we have replaced 64 bearings and it takes around 4 weeks to do 16. We have travelled 300 metres in and are expecting to finish May 2020 with £1.8 million demonstrable savings to date.

Latest safety statistics for the scheme show:

·        71,800 working hours

·        143 observations reported

·        Zero lost time accidents

Jim spent around 2 hours visiting all aspects, examining areas, working condition and getting a feel for management approach. He was very impressed with the site, the scheme, the staff and the collaboration between A-one+, SES, Jacobs and Freyssinet.

We have already shared our learning with our parent companies Costain, Jacobs and Colas, hosted a visit from the CEO of Freyssinet who flew in especially from Paris and the scheme has been featured in Transportation Professional after the reporter came to visit the site earlier this year.

In addition, we have 2 very special tenants nesting 25 metres up over the river who have hatched 2 chicks over the summer, despite the work taking place nearby. The peregrine falcons have been known to nest here for several years and we have a special ecologist check in on them for one day each month.

For more information about this scheme please get in touch using the contact us page.