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NE Restoration Company Hits the Heights with Bridge Award

NE Restoration Company Hits the Heights with Bridge Award

A high-profile bridge refurbishment project involving a Darlington specialist repair business has been honoured with a top industry award. Stone Technical Services assisted with the multi-million pound restoration project on the Lune Aqueduct, near Lancaster, last year.

The Grade I listed structure, dating back to the 1790s, carries the Lancaster Canal 664 feet across the River Lune at 61 feet above the ground and, as part of a major renovation project funded by a £1 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and money from British Waterways, Stone restored the historic masonry and brickwork on the bridge.

The whole project was recently honoured at the Waterways Renaissance Awards which recognise exceptional projects helping to care for canals and rivers across the UK.

The Lune Aqueduct restoration was named the winner in the Historic Environment category with judges praising the project for its "sensitive designs and well-executed channel-repair and access improvements." They also highlighted how the project illustrated "impressive collaboration between the partners, who involved the community from a very early stage."

MD of Stone Technical Services, Dave Stone, said:
"The Lune Aqueduct is a real masterpiece and is often referred to as one of the 'wonders of the waterways'. It had fallen into disrepair so we had to work to preserve its historic features and to improve public access. For the project to be recognised in this way is such great news as it really did involve a lot of collaborative working, meeting strict deadlines and ensuring that there was as little disruption as possible."

Stone's heritage masons worked alongside infrastructure specialists, May Gurney, on the six week project which was made up of several elements including the sympathetic removal and re-building of cement-based pointing to internal and external terraces on the bridge; and the re-fitting of balusters, which form the terrace walls, and the re-dressing and re-pointing of all the outer plinths of the aqueduct.

Stone's heritage masons removed and replaced all the canal kerbs and re-dressed them to their former state, by hand, using traditional methods; and the final aspect of the project for Stone was to remove all of the vegetation on the aqueduct, which included a licensed herbicide spraying, all of which was completed using specialist rope access.

Stone, whose HQ are in Darlington, are experts in the area of bridge repairs and refurbishments, completing a range of works such as concrete repairs, emergency making-safe repairs, upgrading and general maintenance and thermal imaging surveys for organisations such as English Heritage and British Waterways.

Stone’s team of skilled team of heritage masons, accredited to the highest industry standards by the Construction Skills Certification Scheme, carry out all of the bridge refurbishment works by hand.

As well as bridge repairs, Stone Technical Services specialises in all aspects of high level and general maintenance, facilities management, steeplejack services, lightning protection and restoration and masonry refurbishment projects on churches, museums, clock towers, castles, spires and historic buildings with offices in Edinburgh, central London, Middlesex and Cheshire.

The company now employs a team of 37 with plans to create around five more jobs in 2013.