Gateways to summer

27th August 2020

With coronavirus restrictions ongoing, holidaymakers are looking closer to home for their summer sun fix. Thankfully, that doesn’t always mean more congestion on the roads or packed train platforms.

As Cleveland Bridge’s diverse project portfolio shows, there’s a fine art to providing gateways to summer that locals and tourists can appreciate in equal measure.

To find out more about our ‘gateways to summer’ and the challenges we overcame on these projects, continue reading, below.

Note for our readers: If you are travelling via public transport to your staycation, ensure you take all the necessary precautions. Wear a mask, travel in off-peak hours and respect social distancing to keep you and your fellow travellers safe.

On the roads

If you’re travelling by car to your staycation, you will know that clear traffic and faster routes, like motorways, are key to a smooth journey. But what if you are the company who is enabling these efficiencies.

At Cleveland Bridge Group, building efficient road infrastructure, without disrupting the local area, is a critical part of our service. Take our work on the M4, for example. We were contracted by Balfour Beatty VINCI JV to supply, fabricate and install 12 bridges along a hugely busy stretch of motorway as part of Highways England’s Smart Motorway Upgrade. These improvements would provide much-needed extra capacity for the M4 and deliver smoother traffic flows.

To minimise our impact, we ensured deliveries to site were made at night during quieter periods, wherever possible. We also worked on an extremely tight schedule. For example, between April and June 2020, we installed seven bridges: an impressive feat on the longest smart motorway upgrade project in the UK to date.

On the tracks

Modern train stations are crowded at the best of times, but they also need to be accessible and spacious enough to deal with an influx of summer travellers – especially with social distancing guidelines now in place.

Fortunately, we at Cleveland Bridge Group are very experienced in upgrading train stations, as shown by our work on London Bridge Station. As part of this major redevelopment project, we were contracted to fabricate, paint, deliver and install the steelwork for rail decks and concourse bridge decks. As one of the biggest stations in the UK and a major rail hub in the heart of London, construction needed to be tightly controlled and executed speedily out of normal operating hours.

To slim down time spent, we decided to maximise the level of offsite construction by delivering preassembled components to the station on a strict schedule during the night. This meant working in close collaboration with the main contractor and Transport for London to ensure any disruption to on-site construction was minimised and as efficient as possible.

Due to our creative construction solutions, London Bridge Station was delivered within budget and ahead of schedule, earning Cleveland Bridge Group several award nominations in the process. Today, the station is capable of transporting more than 80 million passengers per year; making peak staycation travelling all the more bearable.

On the coast

For those looking to travel further afield than a traditional staycation might allow, there are ways to socially distance without packing on a crowded plane cabin for several hours. Travelling via ferry could be the answer.

Cleveland Bridge have been heavily involved in the construction and improvement of the popular ports that you would set sail from, including Dover and Newhaven. Similar to our road and rail works, these projects minimised customer disruption and severe downtime; however, there is a whole set of different challenges, unique to constructing projects near water.

Andy Limbert, Head of UK Projects at Cleveland Bridge Group, describes the difficult circumstances of our Dover Harbour Bridges project, “Our construction teams had to deal with adverse winter weather conditions, such as high winds, high water levels and strong currents. These factors, combined with an isolated geographical location and local environmental constraints, made for a very challenging build.”

Yet, we swiftly completed our improvements, helping Dover Port become the busiest ferry port in Northern Europe.

At Cleveland Bridge Group, we pride ourselves on the diversity of our portfolio. Whether we work on roads, railways or ports, our innovative solutions keep construction running swiftly and efficiently.

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