Reinforcement measures John S. Thompson Bridge - Hollandia

Reinforcement measures John S. Thompson Bridge

The John S. Thompson Bridge was in need of a thorough overhaul. The bridge is an important connection between the villages Nederasselt and Grave. The object consists of nine monumental bridges and an underlying weir complex. The current load was no longer acceptable for the structure. Hollandia Services carries out steel construction repairs commissioned by Rijkswaterstaat. Blasting and preservation form the majority of the activities in this project.

The John. S. Thompson Bridge dates from 1928. At that time, connections in steel bridges could not be made by welding, for example. This had to be done by riveting. Hollandia is one of the few companies in the Netherlands that still masters the old craft of riveting. Therefore we chose to make the visible parts riveted as well.

Unforeseen repairs
In addition to the agreed work, an urgent job was carried out. A collision with a truck that was too high damaged the bridge. The truck hit the wind bracing, causing damage to a total of eight gantries before coming to a standstill. Hollandia repaired all the damage without causing any inconvenience or closing the road. This included the replacement of gusset plates, angle steels and the alignment of various crossbars and verticals. The condition of two of the six damaged verticals was so bad that they had to be replaced. Two new verticals were therefore made in our workshop in Krimpen aan den IJssel.

The John S. Thompson Bridge was known as the ‘Bridge at Grave’ or ‘Graafse brug’ since 1928. The bridge was captured during the second world war by lieutenant John S. Thompson. His name was given as a tribute to the bridge during the 2004 commemoration. Thompson was platoon commander in the 82nd US Airborne Division and came down with 16 men on 17 September 1944 in the Mars and Wythpolder about 700 meters from the bridge.