International heavy lift and transport services company ALE overcame a range of challenges to complete three bridge moves in December 2015. Despite bad weather and tight timescales, the UK team completed the installations on time.
The first installation took place in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, on 25 December and took just three hours to install the new bridge weighing 1,095 tonnes. ALE used 2 x 24 axle lines in a 4 file configuration incorporating integrated steel work to raise the bridge deck up gradually until a 200 mm clearance was achieved. It was then driven forwards 30 m and lowered onto the clients’ bearing piles, allowing all 144 Macalloy tension bars to be aligned. This was achieved using the controls for the self propelled modular transporter (SPMT).
On the same day in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, ALE performed the first of two rail over road bridge replacements as part of Network Rail’s ongoing maintenance and upgrading of their infrastructure. The SPMTs were driven out of the compound and positioned underneath the existing bridge. Using the SPMT’s integral hydraulics, the bridge deck was lifted clear of the abutments and driven back to the compound and lowered down onto a pre-erected trestle.
Once the SPMTs had lowered the existing bridge on to its trestles the SPMTs were positioned under the new bridge, as per the trial move, and were driven out of the compound to the newly formed abutments. The new bridge's alignment was finalised with the clients’ site engineering team to ensure that the bridge was landed within a 10 mm tolerance. The removal of the existing bridge and installation of the new bridge used the same 12 axle lines of SPMT in a configuration of 4 file 6.
The following day, ALE performed the Cleatham Road bridge installation in Kirton in Lindsey, Lincolnshire. ALE used 12 axle lines of SPMT in a 4 file 6 configuration to transport the new bridge weighing 100 tonnes. The SPMTs were positioned underneath the new bridge deck and the deck lifted clear of the trestles. Once the road was clear of construction vehicles, the SPMTs moved the bridge out of the compound, maintaining the clearances between the top of the bridge and the live power cable.
The SPMT was then parked up at the agreed location away from the live power cable and the bridge deck was then jacked to installation height using the climbing jacks on the SPMT. Once at the installation height and all works on the abutments had been completed, the bridge was installed into its permanent location, the final alignment was agreed with the client’s site engineer.
Zoe Meynell, ALE project engineer, explained, “It was a fantastic team effort despite the ever changing site conditions. All of the upfront planning and meetings that went into these jobs proved its worth with all three jobs going to plan.”