Highways England Area 9

Inertia Consulting Ltd is a key framework Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) and Special Investigations subconsultant for Kier Highways in Highways England Area 9.

The challenge

Highways England Area 9 covers Gloucester, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, the West Midlands, Worcester and Herefordshire. Area 9 includes some of the UK’s busiest and most complex road systems, including Spaghetti Junction and parts of the M5, M6 and M42.

Non - Destructive Testing

As a key framework NDT and Special Investigations Subconsultant, our role involves a wide range of testing and investigation services. The assets we work on include road bridges, footbridges, bridges over railways and water courses, overhead gantries, retaining walls, box beams and other highway structures.

The services we provide include span the full suite of NDT and Special Investigations techniques. These include Special Investigations of all structure types, inspections for assessment, petrographics, accelerated expansion testing, corrugated steel buried structure investigations to CS460 standard, strength analysis and other concrete, steel and masonry NDT.

High profile projects we’ve worked on include:

• State of Bridge Infrastructure (SOBI) project
• Undertaking the national Half Joint Programme to all bridge joints in Area 9.
• Carrying out pre-refurbishment structural surveys to the M5 viaduct at Oldbury.
• NDT, petrographic and accelerated expansion testing to the A45/M42 link prior to upgrades and refurbishment.
• Deck outstand investigations for gantry upgrades on the smart motorway system.
• Numerous Special Investigations to concrete and steel structures at Spaghetti Junction.

Our work often requires the regular use of specialist access techniques, including using powerboats and pontoons for waterways access, diving or roped access, and working from Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs).

Outcomes and benefits to our client include:

• Identifying the need for strengthening, repair or refurbishment works at an early stage – reducing costs and the likelihood of structural failures
• Enabling a clear understanding of the condition and maintenance history of each structure
• Maximising the lifespan of bridges and other structures through planned, proactive maintenance
• Establishing the value of assets, and the cost liabilities and time scales for future repairs
• Providing specialist testing and structural investigation services to prove the condition of a structure in the event of a third-party claim.

The project team

• Highways England – Client

• Kier – Asset Support Contractor

• Inertia Consulting Ltd –NDT and Special Investigations Framework Subconsultant