Congleton Link Road
Cleveland Bridge manufactured and installed all steel girders for the bridge. The main girders for the five spans were delivered as nine part length paired girders, which were spliced together on site. In total, Cleveland Bridge fabricated and supplied fifty four beam sections, varying in length from 19 to 38 metres. The total weight of steel supplied was 1,400 tonnes.
- Year: 2020
- Location: Cheshire, England
- Client: GRAHAM
The new Congleton link road will join the A534 Sandbach Road west of Congleton with the A536 Macclesfield Road to the north of the town. It will significantly reduce town centre congestion and support the development of more than 2,400 homes and 20 hectares of employment land to the north of Congleton. As part of the road construction programme, a major new bridge was required to carry the road over the River Dane.
total steel weight
Total bridge length
from weathering grade steel
Cleveland Bridge UK was appointed by main contractor GRAHAM to fabricate and install the new steel bridge. This was the first time GRAHAM had worked with Cleveland Bridge. It chose the company for its best-value solution and its track record in major bridge installation.
The 90-metre-long two-span bridge comprises six lines of steel girders, which form three braced pairs. The girders feature deep haunches where they rest on the concrete pier, which significantly increased their weight, the entire steel structure weighs 514 tonnes.
All steel components were fabricated from weathering grade steel, which requires no painting or treatment throughout its life.
Access to the site was challenging due to the proximity of the river. The laydown area for the girders was only large enough to accommodate 4 pairs of girders, not all 6, which meant the original plan for the crane scheme had to be revised. Cleveland Bridge collaborated with GRAHAM to develop a new plan, which allowed 4 pairs to be delivered to the laydown area, and the remaining 2 pairs to be delivered just in time. However, ground conditions at the site resulted in further reductions to the laydown area, which meant only 3 pairs could fit into the available space. Consequently, the fourth pair had to be offloaded from the delivery wagon onto stillages, where formwork was fitted. Then a selfpropelled modular transporter (SPMT) was used to move the girders down the inclined haul road to the laydown area. Site conditions meant SPMTs were ultimately used to move 3 pairs of girders from the delivery site to the laydown area.
Poor weather conditions added further complications. The phased delivery had to be reworked a number of times due to programme changes caused by inclement weather. This affected the progress of site works and resulted in last-minute changes to requirements – including the decision to use SPMTs to move the girders
on site. The agility of Cleveland Bridge enabled it to adapt quickly to these changing demands, altering the orientation of girders already in production in the factory to suit the changes in transport methods.
The construction programme had to be rescheduled and revised constantly due to weather and site-related challenges. However, Cleveland Bridge was able to adapt and work closely with the client to ensure the steel installation was completed in line with the final agreed programme.
Working together to overcome challenges and ever-changing deadlines forged a positive working relationship between Cleveland Bridge and GRAHAM, which will benefit future bridge