Coatings supplied by Akzo Nobel have been used to give Poland’s historic and architecturally significant Plock Bridge its first ever total anti-corrosive refurbishment.
Constructed in 1938, the fully-riveted bridge—which crosses the River Vistula—is 690 meters (2,263 feet) long and was purpose-built to carry both road and rail traffic, serving as one of the main commercial links between the north and south of Poland.
A high performance system was supplied by the company’s International Protective Coatings business, including Interthane®—a flexible topcoat capable of resisting damage from the vibration of heavy loads moving across the bridge—Intergard® and Interseal®. International’s Chromascan® color-mixing system was also used, which enabled the selection of a specific shade of topcoat to match the original color of the bridge.
“The bridge is not only a key piece of infrastructure for the Polish Railway Authority, it has played an important part in the history of our city,” said Malgorzata Witczewska, Director of the Road Authority for Plock. “Being classified as a national heritage building, and one of only ten of its kind in Poland, it is important that the structure is protected and preserved.”
The vibration of heavy rail traffic and the corrosive forces of the surrounding environment weakened the previous anti-corrosion system, eventually making it obsolete. Inadequate drainage provision from the road and rail surfaces above have also resulted in water and salt flooding over the steel throughout the length of the structure, heightening the need for an effective, long-term coatings solution.
Supported on eight pillars, the bridge—which was twice destroyed and rebuilt in its early years—incorporates around 100,000 m2 (1.1m ft2) of steel and weighs 5,500 tons. It stands in a prime central location, carrying large volumes of road traffic, as well as supporting heavy rail wagons transporting goods across Poland.