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Nene Bridge, Peterborough

Project data

Location: Peterborough, United Kingdom

In order to replace the bearings, all piers had to be restructured to create a larger surface area that would support the jacking device. As the bridge is a major traffic route that carries the A1139 Frank Perkins Parkway over the River Nene, construction work was carried out alongside live traffic flowing above.

For more information about this project, click here to read our case study.

This project was also featured in the March 2019 issue of Concrete Magazine. You can download and read the article here.


Retaining the character and Y-shaped geometry of the bridge piers was an important consideration for the scheme. The new concrete surface had to resemble the existing multifaceted geometry and architectural function of the piers.


Bell Formwork

Customer's benefit

Custom-made cleats realised unique shape of piers.

Cleats were prefabricated in smaller segments to enable manual handling.

3D technology accelerated the design process.


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Mark Bristow
Contracts Director, Bell Formwork

I involved PERI very early in the planning of this scheme. PERI offered a complete design service and from their previous experience proposed the CNC cleat boxes to form the complex shapes required.

PERI have provided technical representation at meetings and have been very supportive in getting this scheme to fruition. The ability to take the scheme designer’s 3D models and incorporate this into the formwork design has been invaluable in delivering the piers to the shape and function required.

The drawings and instructions provided by PERI have made construction by the team on site swift and to a high standard.

PERI solution

  • To facilitate the positioning of cleat boxes in the absence of a crane, we built a single cleat so that it weighed no more than 70 kg, making it suitable for operatives to lift and assemble each one in-situ by hand.
  • We achieved the intricate shape of the piers using VARIO freeform formwork. It was the only solution that offered the flexibility and the required strength to withstand concrete pressures of up to 67.5 kN per sq m, in addition to realising the architectural detail.
  • We worked alongside our team in Germany to manufacture bespoke cleats consisting of plywood intersections for extra support. Each pier was encased with 100 sq m of cleat boxes that accurately formed the desired shape. We faced cleat boxes with 18mm-thick ply to ensure that a good finish to specification was created on the exposed surface.
  • To increase visibility and control during installation, we detailed a ply strip between VARIO GT24 girders and cleat boxes, which would not have been possible using steel panel formwork. Additionally, our steel walers enabled operatives to make continuous adjustments in order to tighten or align panel connections as required.