Newhaven Port Access Bridge

Cleveland Bridge was appointed to manufacture and install the structural steelwork for the new 121m-long bridge.

  • Year: 2020
  • Location: East Sussex, England
  • Client: BAM Nuttall
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Requirement

Creating a new access road for Newhaven Port is a key priority for East Sussex County Council, as part of its economic regeneration plans for Newhaven. The port was accessed via residential roads, which are unsuitable for port traffic adversely affecting the viability of residential developments in that part of town. A new access road would open up access to the port and reduce HGV traffic through residential streets. A new bridge was required to carry the road over the Newhaven-Seaford railway line and Mill Creek, taking the road into port land and linking directly into the East Quay area.

Solution

Cleveland Bridge was appointed to manufacture and install the structural steelwork for the new 121m-long bridge. The bridge construction specialist was appointed early in the project, and was able to contribute to production and delivery planning to ensure a smooth-running programme.
The bridge comprises three spans, constructed from nine pairs of steel girders, measuring between 28 and 49 metres long. These were installed onto pre-erected concrete piers.

Challenges

Transporting the huge girders 320 miles from the Darlington factory to the site in Newhaven was a significant challenge. The girder pairs weighing up to 54 tonnes were delivered in nine loads by specialist heavy transport haulier, Collett, using its fleet of ballasted heavy tractors and modular trailers, configured as double bogies.
The route required extensive analysis ahead of the movement to ensure each of the cargoes – measuring up to 49 metres long – could safely navigate the journey.

Challenges

Installation on site was hampered by Storm Ciara, which caused considerable delays to the erection of the north span girders. These were the first to be installed and could only be lifted during limited-duration night shifts, which further reduced the window of opportunity. The rest of the bridge could not be erected until the north span girders were in place. Overcoming these limitations demanded direct coordination between Cleveland Bridge, BAM Nuttall and Ekspan to ensure all operations were completed efficiently and safely.

Outcome

All aspects of steelwork fabrication, delivery, offloading and pre-erection were completed on schedule as planned. Extreme weather resulted in unavoidable delays to the installation program. Despite this, the entire bridge was completed within the limited time windows available to the highest quality and safety standards. The project recorded zero health and safety incidents.

Cleveland Bridge played a key role in ensuring this major bridge project was planned and executed accurately. The company’s steelwork fabrication, delivery and assembly operations were exemplary. By working closely together with all parties, they were also able to help overcome weather-related delays to complete the erection sequence as early as possible.

Chris Buckle BAM Nuttall Ltd

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