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Opened in 1876, the Swing Bridge is classic example of late 19th century engineering and is an iconic landmark over the Tyne River in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

The swing bridge connects Newcastle upon Tyne with Gateshead and lies between the Tyne Bridge and the High Level Bridge

It has a 281 foot cantilevered span with a central axis of rotation able to move through 360° to allow vessels to pass on either side of it

The challenge faced

Contractors Protective Coating and Inspection Services Ltd (PCiS) were tasked with cleaning the stonework forming the granite piers supporting the iron swinging road-bridge.

A particular issue in this project was salt induced damage to the granite stonework and deterioration and loss of its 'natural cement mortar'. Compared to Granite, which is generally an extremely hardwearing and durable material, 'natural cement' mortars are particularly prone to deterioration in the wet British climate. Traditionally, this is combated by frequent cycles of labour intensive raking out and repointing of the mortar, on a 'like for like' basis.

The solution

PCiS contracted Epicuro to apply HBG after the granite structures had been cleaned, to protect them against further seawater related damage, including aggressive freeze-thaw attack. HBG penetrates the surface's capillaries to form an invisible, yet breathable, protective barrier that repels water, graffiti and other surface contaminants, ensuring facades remains dry, clean and protected at all times. HBG has a 15 year performance guarantee so this will considerably increase the intervals between essential maintenance, reducing on-going operating costs.




The result

HBG proved to be the ideal solution for the swing bridge, preventing rain water from soaking into the masonry and keeping it dry and clean. Whilst cleaning the stonework, a substantial amount of moss and algae which had accumulated over the years was revealed, due to the damp and dark conditions underneath the main structure. By controlling the water supply to the granite masonry surface, HBG provided an excellent solution to limiting reoccurrences of moss and algae.

Location: Swing Bridge, Newcastle (Listed Structure)
Date: Spring 2008
Client: London Transport
Contractor: Protective Coating and Inspection Services Ltd (PCiS)
Substrate: Granite Masonry
Product Applied: HBG