Knowledge Compendium

For pre-2009 projects, please see our index of archived project pages.

3D technology helps complete repair work to fire-damaged M1 Deans Brook Viaduct

Date: 08/03/2012

Nine months after a severe blaze tem­porar­ily closed the Deans Brook Viaduct, which car­ries the M1 over part of north Lon­don; repair work on the struc­ture and in the sur­round­ing area is complete.

Most of the repair work has taken place under the viaduct with min­i­mum dis­rup­tion to traf­fic on the motor­way above.

The viaduct was badly dam­aged when fire broke out in a scrap yard beneath it in April last year, and in the inter­ven­ing months inten­sive work has been car­ried out to assess the dam­age and carry out the repairs.

Spe­cial 3D laser scans and mod­el­ling helped engi­neers to find the best solu­tion and ensure the repairs could be car­ried out as quickly and safely as possible.

The final part included rein­stat­ing a foot­path, used mainly by school­child­ren, which had to be tem­porar­ily diverted because of the effects of the fire.

Paul Robin­son, High­ways Agency asset man­ager, said:

“The M1 Deans Brook Viaduct is a key part of one of England’s busiest motor­ways and it was of utmost impor­tance to us to firstly get the M1 open again as soon as safely pos­si­ble after the fire under the viaduct tem­porar­ily closed it, and then, with our con­trac­tors, to find the best solu­tion to carry out the repairs with the least pos­si­ble dis­rup­tion to road users and the local community.

“Once the motor­way re-opened after the fire in April, there was still fur­ther work to do to enable us to gain full access to the struc­ture. We then started a thor­ough, detailed inves­ti­ga­tion to deter­mine the level of dam­age and the sched­ule of repairs.

“The actual repair work started in late Sep­tem­ber and while we needed some overnight lane clo­sures on the M1, the major­ity of the repair has taken place under the struc­ture, caus­ing as lit­tle dis­rup­tion as pos­si­ble to road users on the M1.

“We have also rein­stated a foot­path used largely by school chil­dren, and this week we will hand the site under the viaduct back to its own­ers. We are grate­ful to the local com­mu­nity for their patience dur­ing the essen­tial work.”

The laser scan­ning sys­tem enabled engi­neers to recre­ate the under­side of the viaduct which bore the brunt of the blaze, reveal­ing the full extent of the dam­age. This was then used to build a 3D model of the affected area which helped to gen­er­ate a works programme.

The work included repairs to the con­crete under­side of the struc­ture, replace­ment of south­bound para­pet, bear­ing replace­ment and new bridge joints, so the struc­ture can expand and com­press with sea­sonal changes in temperature.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, please con­tact Paul Robin­son — High­ways Agency Asset Manager