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Sheffield History

Tinsley Viaduct at Meadowhall

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s26081.jpg

Have a look at this photo of Tinsley Viaduct under construction with the Tinsley cooling towers in the background.

Educate me - when and why was the Tinsley Viaduct built?

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On ‎18‎/‎09‎/‎2017 at 07:16, Sheffield History said:

s26081.jpg

Have a look at this photo of Tinsley Viaduct under construction with the Tinsley cooling towers in the background.

Educate me - when and why was the Tinsley Viaduct built?

I think it was built to carry the m1 without disrupting other major roads in the area and to carry m1 over river Don and Sheffield canal and railway I think...it was opened 1968 the year I left school and couldn't wait to go down it on the back of my mates 250 Yamaha. 

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Yes it would be 1968 because I got married then, and Father in Law moved away because he got a job as quantity surveyor at the company building the extension of the M1 to Leeds.

Do you remember when a speed limit had to be imposed on the Tinsley Viaduct due to its bad condition?  It was built of those hollow box sections with each box section being added on one at a time to extend the bridge.

It was claimed that the problem was caused by the workmen relieving themselves inside the box sections rather than having to come out to use the site facilities

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We had quite a bit on the viaduct a couple of months ago didn't we...including the railway which took the box sections to the end of the viaduct to be added as it extended across the valley?

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12 hours ago, lysander said:

We had quite a bit on the viaduct a couple of months ago didn't we...including the railway which took the box sections to the end of the viaduct to be added as it extended across the valley?

We did indeed:

https://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/topic/16442-amazing-photo-of-tinsley-viaduct/

 

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Thanks, madannie, I thought my old mind wasn't playing tricks. The viaduct has been blighted with repair work and modifications... Firstly, for corrosion and secondly to rectify serious design faults. One wonders just how much extra has been spent on the structure after it was built to a design which "saved" money?

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I recall the collapse of the West Gate bridge in Melbourne made front page news in 1970.  This was made to the same design as Tinsley viaduct by Freeman Fox and Partners but it was much higher.

The subsequent inquiry showed both the design and construction method to be flawed, So Tinsley was restricted to only two lanes (out of three) in each direction until the 1980s, don't recall a speed limit as well.

The main change was the addition of the diagonal struts you can see today.

I think the idea of corrosion failure due to workers peeing on it may be an urban myth, - can  anyone substantiate this?

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I doubt too many of us were working on the same site to be absolutely certain...but I do recall reports at the time that the "unusual" corrosion was most likely caused as a result of workmen being taken "short".,, and it does take into account human nature... as many of us will admit.

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I don't doubt for one minute that workers would relieve themselves wherever the call of nature found them. We all would.

Just don't see that would be a reason to repair the structure.

 

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17 hours ago, rover1949 said:

I don't doubt for one minute that workers would relieve themselves wherever the call of nature found them. We all would.

Just don't see that would be a reason to repair the structure.

 

I have found this article that refers to the Workmen urinating within the Box Sections of the Viaduct.

Birmingham Daily Post 05 May 1972
 

viaduct.JPG

  • Thanks 1

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18 hours ago, rover1949 said:

I don't doubt for one minute that workers would relieve themselves wherever the call of nature found them. We all would.

Just don't see that would be a reason to repair the structure.

 

I must admit that I too have heard this story in the past, and have always thought that it was perhaps, just another urban myth, and that someone, somewhere was, if you pardon the expression, taking the wee-wee.

However, there might well be some truth in the story after all:-

http://www.loosewireblog.com/2004/11/urine_corrosion.html

On a serious note, I would suppose that if the reported 'offences' took place during construction, and before all of the steelwork had been treated and painted, then the presence of any corrosive agent could represent a problem, but I would have thought that you would have required one hell of a lot of the stuff.

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Thanks syrup, I think you have nailed it there.

The urination may have caused a common fungus to appear, which would have a been a hazard for the workers, but not the reason to undertake repairs.

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Given that the Ministry offered urination as the likely cause of the fungus growth one can understand that this was seen  ,by the public, as the reason to cause remedial work to be undertaken... Urban myth, or not, no other explanation has ever been given for the additional cost of the work. As I recall* all the steelwork ,as is usual with steel construction, was delivered on site after paint ( anti corrosion barrier paint?) had been applied... as the photograph clearly shows ...This isn't untreated steel.

* I worked adjacent to the route of the viaduct and watched it grow on a daily basis ... part of my daily duties involved my being within yards of the "safety" zone so I saw construction fairly close up.

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Agreed.  

This sounds like a convenient way of diverting attention away from the Men from the Ministry, -  blame the working man?

There are multiple reasons quoted for the cost escalation apart from the flawed design, including HSE and EU regulations which didn't apply when it was first built.

On a similar vein, it is said that lifts in council tower blocks are adapted to withstand regular urination. (fact or fiction?).

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