The 90 year old Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge near Frodsham in Cheshire, carries the busy A56 over the Weaver Navigation. Also used by pedestrians, the bridge has shown increasing signs of deterioration over the years and required extensive restoration to enable it to continue to carry the high volume of traffic it receives daily.
year old bridge
tonnes launch weight
The extensive restoration work included the full replacement of the bridge deck and pedestrian walkways, which meant that it would be out of action whilst this work was undertaken. In order for the repairs to be carried out efficiently and with minimal disruption to the busy route, our challenge was to install a temporary bridge alongside the existing structure, allowing traffic to cross without inconvenience to the public.
The main challenge for our team was the installation and subsequent removal of the bridge. The site is bounded by Clifton Road (A557) – a heavily trafficked highway to the north – and a service road to the south, neither of which could be closed. Lifting the bridge into position by crane was not an option, as it was not possible to get a large enough crane onto the site.
Working with May Gurney under their Canal & River Trust Omnibus 3 Framework contract, we supplied and installed a temporary Mabey Universal bridge to carry traffic during the refurbishment and strengthening of the bridge. The temporary bridge had a span of 36m, a 2-lane carriageway for traffic and a cantilever pedestrian foot walk to one side.
The installation challenges meant there was only one option for our team – to launch, keeping the total length of the structure to an absolute minimum, and sequencing the procedure and equipment deliveries to ensure just-in-time delivery without overloading the restricted storage area available.
The total launch weight was 180 tonnes, including 52 tonnes of equipment, which was then removed from site. Our team completed the installation of the MU bridge in 12 working days.
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