Heap Bridge Hydroelectric Plant, Bury

Heap Bridge 1
Heap Bridge 2
  • Construction
  • Formwork and Falsework

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The River Roch in Bury, Lancashire, has a natural weir serving the boundary of the J2 industrial park, which is an area rich in industrial users that all required energy savings. The natural weir lent itself to consideration by Halliday Consulting Engineers to a feasibility study for a reverse turbine hydroelectric power plant to feed the estate. After extensive ecological surveys, the construction details of the required flume structure were released. Compounding the design considerations were access and an existing sluice gate construction which controlled water levels.

Mabey were contacted by Boys Construction Ltd in the early concept stages and worked closely with the scheme consultants, Hallidays. Many alternatives for the scheme were discussed, but Mabey’s panel formwork system, Frami, was thought to be the best solution due to its flexibility.

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Mabey’s design team were instrumental in early site visits to resolve the three main considerations - how to install temporary works to allow construction alterations to the existing structure, how to provide a formwork design to allow the new structure to be built and incorporate part of the old foundation structure and the final removal of the temporary works, as part of the project was in a fast flowing river bed with many environmental considerations. Re-engineering of the old structure into modern integrated CAD drawings was necessary by the Mabey design team, as the original structure had no drawings due to its age.

As the Mabey design team, depot and technical sales engineer were all local to the project, support for revisions and site visits which were crucial to this project were made easy. The whole project was designed to be a “Green Energy” scheme, so every aspect of sustainability and environmental impact were considered. Mabey were able to adapt a flexible, modular system to make the solution variable. The project was finished efficiently in the agreed timescales.

Peter Boys, Director at Boys Construction Ltd, commented: "A friendly and helpful member of staff was always on the other end of the phone when we called, equipment was of excellent standard and technical support was swift and effective. We had confidence in the reliability and the service provided by Mabey."

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