The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 80 (2002) > Issues > Issue 9 > The leaning towers of Adel: stabilising the Seven Arches Aqueduct
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The leaning towers of Adel: stabilising the Seven Arches Aqueduct

The Seven Arches Aqueduct was built in 1841–42 as a key link in the first public piped water supply for the city of Leeds. The project was dogged by political and engineering disputes but when it was completed it transformed life for the people of the city. The Aqueduct is now redundant but it is a Listed Structure. Over the years it has suffered major structural movement: its foundations have settled and its piers now lean almost as badly as Pisa’s famous Tower. The task of stabilising it at an acceptable cost was complicated by severe practical and site constraints which ruled out conventional solutions. The Aqueduct was finally stabilised by a novel scheme which involved prestressing the structure with cables passed through from end to end. It is thought to be the first time this has been done to a masonry viaduct in the UK. The scheme received a Historic Bridge Award in 2000. A. N. Beal, BSc, CEng, MICE, MIStructE Thomason Partnership, 18 York Place Leeds LS1 2EX

Author(s): Beal, A N

Keywords: aqueducts;history;structural movement;seven arches aqueduct, leeds;foundations;settlement;piers;stabilising;repairing;masonry;cracking;investigation;collapse;lateral loads;arches;cables