UltraScape restores iconic medieval bridge

UltraScape’s BS 7533 Mortar Paving System has been used as part of a £1 million transformation of Old Elvet Bridge, a beautiful medieval bridge located in the heart of historic Durham.

Originally built in the 12th and 13th centuries, Old Elvet Bridge is a Grade 1 Listed Scheduled Ancient Monument which provides beautiful views of both Durham Cathedral and the River Wear.

Most visitors to Durham will have spent time enjoying the beauty of Old Elvet Bridge. Over the last few years this constant trafficking had caused parts of the bridge to become worn and tired, and had even led to Durham County Council receiving a number of maintenance complaints.

In May 2017, Durham County Council commissioned a £1 million restoration project of the iconic Old Elvet Bridge, a task that included cutting down the original stone sets to 75mm and relaying them along with new tumbled flags.

With a number of shops located alongside the bridge, and archaeologists working only 300m away from site, it was important that each stage of the project was completed quickly and efficiently to avoid further disruption to workers and pedestrians.

UltraScape’s BS 7533 Mortar Paving System has been used on a number of redevelopment projects of historic interest, including the preservation of Bow Lane, the gateway to Durham’s World Heritage Site, and was therefore an obvious choice to complete this exciting project.

There were many reasons why Durham County Council chose to use UltraScape’s BS 7533 Mortar Paving System to install the pavers on the walkway of Old Elvet Bridge. Projects incorporating BS 7533 compliant materials benefit from a reduction in failures and considerable whole life cost savings. Every product in UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System has been independently tested by a UKAS accredited laboratory to assess their performance capabilities. This method removes the uncertainty of site batched mortars and offers a minimum construction life of 40 years.

Pre-blended for ease of use, pro-bed HS fine bedding mortar provides the ultimate laying course for all types of paving. Available in two sizes, 30 tonne silos and 1 tonne bulk bags – the first of which was used on this project – pro-bed HS provides you with the perfect amount of material for all project sizes.

Formulated to provide an exceptional bond between your paving element and pro-bed HS, pro-prime slurry primer eliminates costly failures caused by general wear and tear and heavy load bearing.

To complete the installation, flowpoint rapid set grout was used in Natural Grey to joint the original stone sets and chosen tumbled flags. With an initial set after just 15 minutes, and a walk on time of one hour, it is unsurprising that flowpoint has become synonymous with fast application, cost-effective and robust jointing.

On using UltraScape to complete the project, Gary Lovett, Construction Manager at Durham County Council commented: “The lads on site love UltraScape – their grout, primer and bedding is 10 times better than others.”

The project was completed in March 2018 and has since been nominated for an MJ Local Government Achievement Award.

For more information on UltraScape’s BS 7533 Mortar Paving System, or to watch an application video, please visit ultrascape.co.uk.