Ainscough in bridge demolition

By Alex Dahm14 August 2008

Ainscough supplied a 1,000 tonne crane to help demolish a concrete bridge in Wales

Ainscough supplied a 1,000 tonne crane to help demolish a concrete bridge in Wales

UK mobile crane rental major Ainscough used a 1,000 tonne telescopic crane to help demolish Britain's first pre-stressed concrete bridge.

Demolition contractor Cuddy Group demolished the Abertillery Foundry Bridge to help re-shape the gateway to the Welsh town of Abertillery. The 40 x 10 m bridge connected the two sides of the Tyleri Valley. Neath-based Cuddy Group completed the £220,000 (US$440,000) demolition works as part of the Abertillery Town Centre Regeneration Strategy.

Cuddy built a platform with load bearing capacity to support the main lift crane. An access ramp for the crane was built with 400 tonnes of granite. Over five months the work included removal of the concrete bridge deck and ten support beams lifted out with the crane. A 100 tonne capacity support crane and three excavators were also used.

Peter Smith, Cuddy senior contracts manager, said, "From day one, this was certainly an extremely unusual and challenging job. The site location in the heart of the town, in such close proximity to homes and offices, meant that health and safety considerations were of optimum importance.

"The size of the crane and the way the beams were lifted out from the structure, coupled with the space restrictions within which the team worked, meant that the job had to be carried out with meticulous attention to detail and with the utmost care."

Demolition of the bridge was necessary after surveys found significant deterioration of the structure. The first bridge was built more than 100 years ago but demolished in the 1940s before being rebuilt in 1951. It was condemned in 1999 after corrosion of steel tendons in the supporting beams below the reinforced concrete deck were considered too dangerous to allow its continued use.

A new steel bridge will replace the concrete one and work is scheduled for completion by the end of 2008.

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