Home Scaffolding News Project News XERVON Palmers Scaffolding at Ovingham Bridge, River Tyne

XERVON Palmers Scaffolding at Ovingham Bridge, River Tyne


XERVON Palmers continue to deliver bespoke scaffolding and access on 166m long bridge over the River Tyne.

Scaffolding contractor, XERVON Palmers, are currently in the middle of a contract for Northumberland County Council and the Department for Transport (DfT) providing access for the £3 million refurbishment of the historic Ovingham Bridge over the River Tyne, in the North East.

Scaffolding and access work began in March 2014 and the bridge closed to traffic on June 30th – and will remain closed until June 2015, whilst specialist contractors carry out work to prevent the spread of an invasive plant species on the bank which is damaging the structure. In addition, the extensive bridge refurbishment consists of replacing the existing deck construction, cross girders, deck plates and fitting new kerbs, along with refurbishing the bridge metalwork and lattice trusses and waterproofing works.


XERVON Palmers has been providing expert, bespoke scaffolding and access on the 166m long bridge, mainly of a tube and fitting and scaffolding board construction. The XERVON Palmers team, which has been up to 10 operatives, have provided a special design with flood water protected scaffold towers around the bridge columns in a buttress structure, for the sections going under water. These have been specially designed to protect the scaffold from the might of the River Tyne during Winter high-water and flooding.

“Access jobs like these are our ‘bread and butter’ – providing scaffolding expertise, safely, on time and to a strict budget.”

Further XERVON Palmers scaffold design innovation has been provided at Ovingham Bridge with a Palmers-designed aluminium bridging panel beam system – created to minimise the amount of fittings required, thus reducing the amount of time required to erect and strike the job. This design innovation has kept the contract within the cost constraints of the County Council budget.

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Ian McFarlane, Director for Business & Project Development at XERVON Palmers said:

“The scaffolding structure we have provided at the iconic Ovingham Bridge has worked perfectly in providing a safe working platform for the bridge repairs and renovations, whilst standing solid in the middle of the forceful River Tyne. And the job has been erected in such a way to save the contractor money and time – meaning the bridge can open to traffic as soon as possible, which is what the local community want.”

And Donald Morrison, CEO of XERVON Palmers added:

“Access jobs like these are our ‘bread and butter’ – providing scaffolding expertise, safely, on time and to a strict budget. We are very happy with the solutions we have created for the job for Northumberland County Council and the Department for Transport (DfT) and we look forward to working with them again on road network projects in the future in the North East.”

Ovingham bridge was opened in 1883, it operated as a toll bridge until 1944. At which point it was adopted by Northumberland County Council. It has operated with a 3T weight restriction since 1944. Width restrictors were added in the 1970s to enforce this weight limit. It is situated between Ovingham and Prudhoe and carries 4000 vehicles/day over the River Tyne.

XERVON Palmers provided the scaffolding and access for Ovingham bridge for Northumberland County Council on time and on budget.

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