Groundforce solves bridging challenge
19 September 2023
The longest temporary bridge yet built by Vp’s specialist Groundforce Bridge business has helped civil engineers span a challenging 11m watercourse and flood area in Scotland.
The installation comprised two 17.6m by 3.5m structures laid end-to-end and was complemented by a single with the same dimensions to give APL Construction two crossings over the watercourse in Lesmahagow for vehicles up to 60 tonnes, including metal-tracked excavators.
Totalling 57 tonnes in weight, the two bridges were built in just over a month and will be needed by the contractors for at least six months. However, it only took a two-person Groundforce team one day to install each element.
APL required a solution to give a maximum clear span of 15.6m over the watercourse, and Groundforce’s Project Co-ordinator Chris Stevenson carried out a pre-installation site visit. He found that the surrounding vegetation obstructed any lifting access and the rough terrain made delivery and installation challenging.
Groundforce Bridge devised the two bridges with 14 deck plates to span 35.2m, with concrete gabion basket abutments designed and installed by APL at the centre joint point.
The first half of the structure was installed using a Hiab lorry but the second half required a 250-tonne mobile crane with further reach. Groundforce Bridge was able to install the third 17.6m x 3.5m bridge with seven deck plates, using the Hiab to gain access to its location by driving over the 35.2m bridge to the lifting area.
The bridges were delivered to site using two wagons, an articulated steerable extended trailer and the Hiab. As well as the abutments, APL groundworks included de-vegetation and preparing the stoned access road, crane pads and stone ramps.
Groundforce Bridge Director Terry Mead said: “This was one of the most challenging projects we have undertaken since the Bridge division was formed in 2012.”
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