The DN7 Hatfield link road will create a new 2.9km road between the M18 at Junction 5 and Waggons Way next to the former Hatfield Colliery. This crucial infrastructure will enable work to begin on the exciting Unity project – a mixed-use development of new homes, a marina, leisure and open spaces, shops, schools, healthcare facilities and business space. As well as providing the conduit for the Unity development, the Hatfield link road will greatly improve access to the motorway network for people living in Stainforth, Hatfield and surrounding areas. A new bridge was required to carry the link road over railway lines on the outskirts of Hatfield.
Cleveland Bridge was appointed to manufacture, supply and install the single-span highway bridge. The company has extensive experience of completing bridges over railway lines safely and efficiently during limited rail possessions. Its engineers have the necessary personal track safety (PTS) qualifications required for working on or near Network Rail lines. Its combination of rail working expertise and bridge building prowess made Cleveland Bridge the ideal choice for this project.
The restricted space available on site meant the girders had to be lifted into place from behind one of the abutments, rather than from beneath the bridge. This meant that a large 1000-tonne crane with superlift had to be used, providing a landing radius sufficient for the requirements of the installation. Delivery to the site was hampered by
the local road network. Despite the girders being delivered in shorter lengths, there was still a need to remove street furniture to allow the 25m loads to access the site.
The entire bridge had to be installed overnight during two night railway possessions, granted by Network Rail.
Cleveland Bridge installed two pairs of girders during the first railway possession, and returned to install the final pair during the following night possession. All installation procedures were completed safely and efficiently, thanks to careful planning and coordination with all parties expertly negotiating the constraints and hazards of the site.
The installation was completed ahead of schedule, enabling the bridge to be handed back to Balfour Beatty for ongoing works earlier than anticipated. Early completion by Cleveland Bridge also eliminated the risk of any potential possession overrun, which would have resulted in significant compensation costs for the project.
It was a pleasure to work alongside Cleveland Bridge. Thanks to its timely deliveries to site and the speedy, safe installation of the girders, we were able to commence the bridge deck formwork to programme during the remainder of the railway possession window, which helped to progress the whole project.Paul Edwards Balfour Beatty