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South Tyne Viaduct

SGS Limited were contracted by Amco Giffen to perform the design, erection, inspection and dismantle of scaffold required for the steel repairs and blasting/painting of South Tyne Viaduct.

The main challenge here was the implementation of certain environmental agency restrictions as follows:

  • Only 1.5 spans could be erect at any one time.

This presented significant programme challenges with regards to other trades having continuity of work throughout the scheme. To Assist with this, SGS provided part accessible spans, providing contained areas for coatings works and steel repairs, whilst providing adaptions during weekends to facilitate openings in the scaffold for trackside works during possessions. We then worked progressively around main possession works to ensure enough scaffold was dismantled in time to erect further access for works to continue within the 1.5 span constraint.

  • Any part of a span above land which was within 2.8m of the ground had to have the scaffold suspended from the structure rather than based off from the ground.

Spans 4 and 5 were completely above land and therefore hybrid birdcage/underslung scaffolds needed to be erected to provide both the required level of access but with commercial savings for Amco within the given constraints.

  • Access to the viaduct could only be provided from one side.

SGS designed a cantilever arrangement from the pier caps to carry a walkway the full length of the structure to accommodate works in any span within the 1.5 span constraint.

Client: Amco-Giffen

Duration: March 2021 – October 2021

Location: Hexham, Northumberland

Services Provided:

  • Access Scaffolding 
  • Containment 
  • Scaffold Inspection
  • Scaffold Design
  • Project Management


  • Beamed underdecks installed from pontoons to expedite works.
  • Pier access hanging scaffolds installed as standalone scaffolds so they could be removed in flood conditions.
  • Spans erected progressively to meet environmental agency conditions.