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Junction Lock Swing Bridge Refurbishment

Junction Lock Swing Bridge is a historic highway bridge with two carriageways, each with a pedestrian walkway. It is a riveted construction, weighing 650 tonnes dating from 1925. As part of the Bristol City Docks Operating Infrastructure Project, the operating mechanism for Junction Lock Swing Bridge has been upgraded. The previous system, which used water hydraulics, has been replaced by a modern oil hydraulic system.

Key facts


Cumberland Basin, Bristol


BAM Nuttall

In Partnership with

M G Bennett and Associates Ltd

The original operating mechanism was replaced because it was requiring frequent and costly maintenance. The new system is more robust and requires less maintenance, and will therefore be more cost effective.

A key challenge in this project was dealing with the massive horizontal forces that were being applied to the central pintle support due to thermal movements. These forces were causing severe damage to the bridge foundations. The new system restrains the bridge near the pintle to minimise thermal movement and provides a novel pintle design. This is less sensitive to misalignment and the large forces which result. The unique design of the pintle combines the features of a spherical bearing with those of a pot bearing, whilst also acting as the main lift cylinder for the bridge.

Involvement in the project included detailed design of all mechanical equipment and bridge bearings.

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