Installing two bridges in just 11 hours

16th October 2018

Another remarkable achievement from Cleveland Bridge after installing two 1,050 tonne bridges in just 11 hours.

Of course, it took many months of detailed planning and client liaison to ensure the bridge decks, each measuring 44m in length and containing 330 tonnes of steel and 720 tonnes of concrete, were lowered into position without a hitch.

The bridges are part of Highways England’s A14 Huntington to Cambridge Improvement Scheme and form part of a new junction connecting local access roads.

A total of 12 girders were fabricated at the company’s leading fabrication facility in Darlington, County Durham, before being transported by road over two weeks during the summer.

The girders were then braced together on site and handed over to the A14 Integrated Delivery Team (IDT), the joint venture comprising Costain, Skanska, Balfour Beatty and designers Atkins/CH2M, working on behalf of Highways England, before the reinforced concrete was added.

Once the concrete was cured, the decks were lifted from a series of trestles onto huge self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs). They were then manoeuvred slowly into position before being lowered onto the newly-constructed reinforced concrete abutments.

The A14 was closed to traffic at 9pm on a Friday evening to allow sections of the existing A14 carriageway to be infilled and regraded at the Bar Hill site to accommodate the SPMTs. The bridges were installed in 11 hours and the road re-opened by noon on Sunday,– 18 hours ahead of schedule.

Cleveland Bridge UK was also able to deliver the girders two weeks early through excellent plan and pre-assembly in the factory ahead of site delivery.

The successful project involved months of collaborative planning between Cleveland Bridge UK, its subcontractor Mammoet and the A14 IDT. This included anticipating and preparing for any possible problems such as adverse weather, mechanical breakdown and traffic management issues.

Chris Droogan, Managing Director of Cleveland Bridge UK, said: “Another great achievement installing two bridges in one weekend by the team and this feat highlights our skill and expertise in meticulous planning and close collaboration with our project partners.

“It was absolutely critical that the bridges were ready on time and Cleveland Bridge improved its handover date by two weeks by adopting an innovative approach.“This project depended on our skilled and talented workforce and its success is testament to their ingenuity.”

Cleveland Bridge UK has already completed a twin span skewed A1 motorway overbridge, a single span bridge over the East Coast Mainline, and what has been billed as the project’s “show piece structure”, the 750-metre-long viaduct over the Great River Ouse as part of its six-bridge contract for the £1.5bn A14 improvement scheme. It is due to install the final A1/A14 link overbridge in January 2019.

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