A19 Testo’s flyover project takes major step forward with installation of bridge beams spanning 143 metres

25th January 2021

Cleveland Bridge UK has successfully completed a critical installation phase of a 143-metre flyover as part of Highways England’s iconic A19 Testo’s Junction Improvement Scheme in South Tyneside.

The Darlington-based company was awarded the project by smart infrastructure solutions company Costain in March 2020, and successfully fabricated, transported, and installed the bridge beams at the centre of the busy flyover.

The 1,393-tonne weathering grade steel road bridge was fabricated as a series of 25 paired girders, the largest of which is 33 metres in length. The heaviest pair weigh in at around 60 tonnes.

After a successful test assembly at Cleveland Bridge UK’s 27,000 square metre production facility, the structure was transported to site and assembled before it was installed efficiently using a 1,000-tonne mobile crane to carefully place the new beams into position.

The bridge marks a critical phase in the £124.5m project, which will raise the A19 on a flyover allowing drivers to commute along the new 142-metre bridge without having to stop at the existing junction.

Due to complete in summer 2021, the project will see new slip roads connecting the bridge to the A184 via the Testo’s roundabout, enabling through traffic on the A19 to flow more freely, improving journeys between the main North East arterial route and the surrounding areas.

Chris Droogan, Managing Director of Cleveland Bridge UK, said: “We are always particularly proud to secure projects in our home region of the North East, especially those that will bring significant benefits to the efficiency of the area’s transport network.

“The team involved with this project have done a fantastic job delivering solutions for the most efficient production and installation programme, which also support our strategy to reduce our carbon footprint wherever possible.  Carrying out a test-assembly at our large factory in Darlington is a huge benefit in terms of preparing for the actual installation and we also maximised the size of the loads of the girders being delivered to site to minimise the number of journeys.”

“Costain’s project manager, Russell Furnival said: “This is an outstanding achievement for the project as we’re working to meet the needs of our customers.  Lifting these girders into place has taken a great deal of planning – the team have been using new digital technology on the project including complex planning tools to ensure maximum efficiency as well as safety.  The support we have received from all our supply chain allows us to work safely and will ultimately improve people’s journey times.”

Highways England project manager Liam Quirk said: “Reaching the integral milestone of placing the steel bridge beams – 99% of which were produced in the UK – is exciting to reach.

“It’s fantastic that people are now able to see this huge structure taking shape which when ready will reduce journey times for drivers and create safer and more free-flowing journeys.

“Putting the beams into place and completing this critical step of the scheme has been a huge collaborative effort from so many people, and I’d like to say a massive thank you to all involved. I’d also like to pass on my thanks to drivers and residents for their patience while we carry out the work.”

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