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Hydratight commissioned to support repair on major bridge

24 April 2017

​Hydratight application engineering and product specialist has supported the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to re-open a major commuter route.

The Delaware River Bridge, which carries 42,000 vehicles per day, was forced to close earlier this year after structural damage was found during routine maintenance checks.

A complete fracture was found on a 14” steel truss on the Pennsylvania side and steel plates were installed as a temporary patch to stabilize the bridge and limit movement.

After initial investigations by authorities, Hydratight was called in to offer expertise and equipment. HydraMax® tensioners were used to tension the studs and pull the bridge together.

Richard Bru, Product Manager, Hydratight, said: “The failure was located 80ft above ground level and was not without risk. We had to devise a safe and permanent fix to the bridge. Working closely with the authorities and partners we offered the HydraMax solution, a Hydraulic Bolt Tensioner which is compact and provides high load generation.

“Our tooling significantly reduced the repair lead-time when compared with alternatives and allowed other contractors to complete the project correctly and safely.”

The fracture on the 61-year old bridge had resulted in a steel beam dropping by around one inch. Eight jacking towers were used at the site to stabilise the truss as it was slowly lifted back into position as part of the repair project.

The bridge was scheduled to remain closed between January and April, but due to pre-planning and favorable weather windows re-opened in mid-March. High-definition cameras and sensors are now in place to monitor the stress of regular traffic usage on the repaired section and surrounding supports.

The permanent repair avoided initial estimations of a complete reconstruction of the span, which had degraded due to various factors, including age-related wear and plug-welds, which were a permitted solution to mistakenly drilled holes in the 1950s.

The 1.25-mile span links Bucks County, Pennsylvania and Burlington County, New Jersey as part of the main Interstate 276.

About Hydratight:

Hydratight provides world-class bolted joint solutions and machining services, plus innovative mechanical weldless connectors, to power generation, oil and gas, nuclear, wind and aerospace industries. Over the last 20 years Hydratight has pioneered systems for complete joint integrity assurance that are now incorporated in industry-wide safe-working guidelines around the world.

Hydratight is wholly owned by Actuant Corporation, a diversified industrial company serving customers from operations in more than 30 countries and headquartered in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. Actuant trades on the NYSE under the symbol ATU. For further information on Actuant and its businesses, visit the Company’s website at