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Masonry Bridge Inspection

My name is Sabrinah Khodabaccus and I studied at Brunel University London for an MEng degree in Civil Engineering with Sustainability and Professional Development.
I chose the civil engineering career path because of the active engagement in infrastructures, and the increasing opportunities for women in engineering. Studying civil engineering meant tapping into various fields of study, where I became interested in water management, drainage systems and sustainability in civil works. I completed an industrial placement at Capita, working on drainage designs, structural analysis and tendering projects, putting into practice the spectrum of knowledge I gained throughout my course. The highlight was getting to know people from different sectors and learning from their experiences.

Bridge assessment:

The Masonry bridge is an arched bridge built in the early 1900s to carry a railway line. Arched geometry has been used in bridges since Roman times and masonry is considered the best performing for heavy loads. The local area consists of over-gown trees since the viaduct cuts through a regional park. The main construction material for the bridge is a combination of blue and red bricks which have different strength characteristics. These are bonded using lime mortar which was common masonry construction in its time.

The bridge was inspected on site. With the help of a camera that can zoom into areas further away, defects were found on the bridge including lime mortar, the presence of calcification and efflorescence, damp areas on the soffit dripping down and sprawls of vegetation between brick joints. Causes of the defects were discussed and recommendations for testing, monitoring, repair and maintenance were advised for the benefit of future inspections and determining the structural integrity and lifespan.

Click here to view the full report https://sites.google.com/view/bridgescoursework/masonry-bridge

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