Bodmin and Boscarne Railway Bridges

North Cornwall

Cormac was appointed to carry out the design and refurbishment of the double-span, Bodmin & Boscarne road bridge, across the historic steam railway line.

Bodmin & Boscarne Bridges (1)

Major Works in a Tight Spot

Finding solutions

Bodmin's double-span bridge is over one hundred and fifty years old. The structure itself had become corroded and the masonry weakened. Cormac were appointed to design and carry out the complex refurbishments. We ensured that the road that runs along the top of the bridge and the railway that runs beneath were safeguarded for the future. 

Both bridges were dismantled, and their large cast iron beams and parapets were removed and transported off site to a specialist contractor for sand blasting and repainting. The existing abutments were inspected and repaired, and the stonework carefully dismantled to be cleaned and reused later in reconstruction, maintaining the original look and character. 

Once the cast iron edge beams had been refurbished and repositioned back on the abutments,  the deck of the bridge was rebuilt. The deck was built using pretensioned, steel reinforced, concrete beams, that will blacken over time from the train smoke. The exposed refurbished edge beams maintain the historical integrity of the bridge, and provide a fitting backdrop for the steam locomotives used on the Bodmin and Wenford Railway.

Cormac worked closely throughout the project with Bodmin & Wenford Railway, nearby businesses and residents keeping everyone informed as works progressed. 

Time Sensitive

Rapid demolition and care for heritage

This project was a particularly challenging operation due to complex logistics and its tight time constraints. Cormac worked almost around the clock over the nine day demolition period, removing waste material in a controlled and safe manner, to our own facilities. Detailed stability assessments were carried out throughout (ensuring that the overall structure remained stable), and noise and vibrations were monitored by our highly experienced team.

Protect and Preserve

Ensuring minimal impact

In spite of the intensity and disruption of the works, we didn’t have a single complaint from the residents and businesses in the area. 

‘It’s really all down to good comms’, says Jerry Cobb, Project Manager. ‘It is a fantastically underestimated element of the job. If you can get the comms right, if you can get everyone on board and they know what’s happening, and when it’s going to happen, it makes for a much smoother operation.’

As with any demolition work, the surrounding environment also needs protecting. To ensure that the railway tracks below the bridge were undamaged by the breaking down of girders and concrete, Cormac devised a design to protect the tracks, infilling them with high density polystyrene, then covering them with wooden boards.


Attention to Detail

Keeping standards high

"Specialist stonemasons were employed to rebuild the walls to very exacting standards. The services we deliver must comply with minimum standards of materials and workmanship, for our client, and for the industry as a whole" said Martin Heyward, Senior Site Agent. 

Cormac offers consistent high quality standards, and we pride ourselves on forming trusted, long-lasting alliances with qualified and skilled subcontractors. Our highly skilled teams have decades of experience under their belts, and are committed to meeting and exceeding the expectation of our clients.  

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    Days to Demolish the Bridge

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    Workers Each Day on Demolition

  • Given the historic nature of the bridge, we had to reuse as much of the stonework as possible. Following demolition, and using specialist skills, the stonework was sympathetically rebuilt in keeping with the original structure.

    Martin Heyward

    Site Agent

  • It was crucial to preserve the authenticity of the bridges, as well as safeguarding them for the future. Meticulous care was taken in the design and delivery off the refurbishments, something the whole team are very proud of.

    Martin Heyward

    Site Agent

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Cormac began as a business with a remit to service all the civil engineering needs of Cornwall. As a consequence we have an extensive range of specialist skillsets, and can offer a true end-to-end service to our clients in Cornwall and beyond.

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