Collett transports bridge link beams

By Alex Dahm01 February 2023

blue and white truck pulling a rusty beam on a trailer at night The 48 metre long steel bridge beams weighed 56 tonnes each. Photo: Collett

Heavy transport specialist Collett delivered four steel bridge sections to form a new link road across the Calder and Hebble Navigation, an inland waterway in Yorkshire in the north of England.

Structural steel construction specialist Severfield made the 48 metre beams in Bolton, north west England. Collett had to transport all four of them to the A629 Salterhebble Bridge project in Halifax. The £28 million (US$36 million) scheme is the largest civil engineering project ever undertaken by Calderdale Council. The construction contractor is John Sisk & Son.

Over a two week period, the 56 tonne bridge sections were loaded on site at Severfield, directly to two Faymonville 8-axle jeep dolly bogie trailers, recently added to the Collett trailer fleet. These dolly combinations have automatic steering which allows the rear axles to autonomously follow the tractor unit.

For manoeuvring in tight spaces the automatic steering can be overridden and switched to manual rear steering. This means the rear bogie can be steered independently of the tractor unit.

Collet said the new trailers proved “to be the perfect solution for these 48 metre loads, the largest pieces of steelwork to ever leave Severfield’s Bolton facility.”

Over two consecutive days the first of two bridge sections, the outer paired girders, left the Severfield site. The 40 mile (65 km) trip to Halifax was made under police escort and with Collett’s Code of Practice pilot cars. On the M62 motorway eastbound, the bridge sections arrived at the junction 24 slip road, leaving on the A629 bypass and arriving at site. The length of the bridge sections and the road layout on the approach to the site meant each one had to pull past the last junction and reverse the final 200 metres to site.

They arrived on site in the early evening and were stored on the trailers. After they had been lifted into position across the Calder and Hebble Navigation, the two trailers were returned to Severfield. The two remaining sections, the inner paired girders, were then delivered the following week.

The Calder and Hebble Navigation was opened in 1770. The new bridge will improve the flow of traffic and give better access to local villages and towns in West Yorkshire. It is part of a project that also includes a new link road and junction improvements. Completion is expected later in 2023.

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