Highways England Areas 6 and 8

Ongoing bridge and civil engineering structure inspection services in Highways England Areas 6 and 8 on behalf of Amey and Kier Highways.

The challenge

Highways England Areas 6 and 8 cover motorways and trunk roads in the east of England, including East Anglia. Since 2014, Inertia Consulting Ltd has worked with the main asset support contractor to inspect the many hundreds of bridges and other highway structures found within Areas 6 and 8, to assess their durability and safety.

Bridge inspection

Throughout the commission our inspectors have undertaken General Bridge Inspections and hundreds of Principal Bridge Inspections within this area. We have also supplied numerous Special Inspections. Services include concrete non-destructive testing (NDT), diamond coring for materials sampling and testing, steel NDT and ICORR coating inspections.

We carry out all inspections in line with Highways England document BD63/17. All our inspections are engineer led with our team holding LANTRA Bridge Inspection Competence Scheme (BICS) certification.

When reporting back to the client, we use the Structures Management Information System (SMIS) database, developed by Highways England in 2000. This builds a complete history for each structure, helping us predict, identify and manage changes in its condition during the inspection cycle.

The outcome

Our inspection and testing activities play a vital role in ensuring the safety of hundreds of bridges and other concrete structures in Highways England Areas 6 and 8. In turn, this helps keep motorists and other road users safe when using the motorway and trunk road network in the east of England. Through efficient project planning techniques, we also seek to minimise disruption caused by road closures and traffic management activities.

The benefits that our work offers the 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
• Saving our client money through the use of ‘smarter’ working practices.

The project team
  • Highways England – Client
  • Kier – Asset Support Contractor (2017 onwards)
  • Amey – Asset Support Contractor (2014 to 2017)
  • Inertia Consulting Ltd – Inspections and NDT Subconsultant