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Supporting heavy footfall with lightweight concrete

Bespoke concrete design incorporating an innovative lightweight aggregate has enabled Capital Concrete to meet the stringent weight specification on a project to upgrade a busy pedestrian bridge between Stratford International Station and the Westfield Shopping Centre in East London.

The original construction of the walkway was designed to support wooden decking and upgrading the surface to more durable concrete paving, which required a special lightweight concrete mix in order to create a thin base that met the structure’s weight restrictions.  To achieve the required specification, Capital Concrete chose a lightweight aggregate for its low density and high crushing strength.

Jack Sindhu, Technical Manager at Capital Concrete and his team worked closely with the contractor, Roland Construction to ensure the concrete mix was developed to meet the specifications and objectives of this project, trialling several mixes before selecting the optimum design.

“Capital Concrete had to ensure the specification of the lightweight fill concrete were met – specifically a density of 1800kg/m3 and strength of C20N/mm2 – because of the weight limitations on the bridge,” says Jack. As well as the C20 N/mm2 mix, a C40 N/mm2 mix was also designed and successfully supplied.

 Jack continues, “Looking at alternative products gives us the opportunity to create new solutions to meet our customers’ often complex needs”.

Capital Concrete’s plant at Bow had to be prepared and ready to accept the lightweight aggregate ensuring there was no issue with contamination. Concrete truck mixers were washed, and the plant’s belts washed down prior to supply. Due to site restrictions and the low volumes of lightweight concrete required, it was decided not to pump the concrete, the concrete was discharged from the truck mixer to a dumper truck which then delivered it to the bridge deck.

Capital Concrete supplied these bespoke mixes to Roland Construction Ltd who carried out the works on the heavily used footbridge. Managing Director, Roland Koncius commented: “It was good working with Capital Concrete and the project was completed successfully without delays. Also we could speak with plant directly to coordinate time of delivery’s. We are updating our website and would like to include Capital Concrete as a trustful supplier”. 

The Westfield Stratford complex recorded a footfall of over 50m last year alone.

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