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Newsletter No 14 - April 2009

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Report Overview

There is encouraging support from the infrastructure and public sectors for the work of CROSS. Following meetings with SCOSS and CROSS, the Highways Agency have agreed to back the scheme and recommend it to their suppliers. The Highways Agency is an Executive Agency of the Department for Transport (DfT), and is responsible for operating, maintaining and improving the strategic road network in England on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport. This includes managing traffic, tackling congestion, informing road users, improving safety, minimising adverse impact on the environment and more. Their suppliers include consulting engineers, construction companies, and materials providers. LABC is the member organisation representing local authority building control departments in England and Wales. It promotes the design and construction of safe, accessible, environmentally efficient buildings that comply with the Building Regulations and now also supports CROSS. The Scottish Building Standards Division has supported the programme since the SCOTCROSS scheme in 2007. It is anticipated that liaison with, and the support of, these major bodies will lead to more reports about roads and bridges, and more reports about building control issues, thus widening the network of those who can benefit from the lessons learned by others. In this issue is an important report about public art works on or near highways and the need, in some cases, for appropriate engineering input to the design and construction of large sculptures. There is also the summary of a report about the slippage of a bridge being erected over railway published with the permission of Transport for London together with reports about similar incidents from the past. Of course to make the programme as effective as possible reports are needed on a continuous basis so if you have a concern, or know of an incident that involves structural safety, that could be passed on then please contribute. Details of how to do so are on the CROSS website as are all of the Newsletters.

Overview of Reports in this Newsletter

98 Unsafe street lighting columns

An overseas reporter says that majority of street light poles and advertisement board bases in his location are not constructed to the proper standard of safe practice for structural engineering and this creates a potential source of accidents.

114 Unsafe lamp posts (news)

More than 500 lamp-posts across a borough have been condemned as unsafe and are being replaced in an emergency scheme.

131 Inadequate chimney support

The supports for a domestic chimney had been removed.

136 Public art structures

Engineers have noticed a trend for more works of “Public Art” being placed near to highways and in cities. The works may be large and warrant a significant engineering input but may be driven forward by persons without sufficient appreciation of the technical issues involved. Three examples are given.

137 School fascia board failure

A section of pressed steel gutter and plywood fascia board at a school collapsed during or after a heavy rainstorm.

142 Temporary bridge jacking

Transport for London (London Rail) reported publically on an incident concerning temporary bridge jacking and permission to reproduce an extract is gratefully acknowledged by CROSS. In early May 2008 Bridge GE19 was successfully moved into position above Network Rail tracks just outside Liverpool Street station, and a few weeks later the bridge was in the process of being 'jacked down' into its final resting place. After work had finished for the day the temporary supports for the bridge failed at the east end. This failure resulted in the bridge dropping approximately 200mm off the temporary support plates onto the permanent bearings.

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