Spine Road, Northumberland

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Mabey UK Hire Head Office

Mabey UK Hire Head Office

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Northumberland County Council reported that there had been a vehicle strike to a footbridge crossing the A189 Spine Road and that there had been substantial damage caused. The overbridge was closed, and due to the impact on the footbridge, the dual carriageway below also had to be shut. The initial brief was to make the footbridge safe again.

Phil Hames, Senior Project Engineer at Mabey, together with a site manager travelled to the location, arriving by midday. At the same time, the engineering team at Bridge House, Garswood loaded a hi-ab wagon with Mass 25 equipment making assumptions on loadings, geometry, etc. While Phil waited on site for the wagon he designed the propping solution around the equipment being delivered. The tower was installed and loaded by early evening. The next day Northumberland County Council (NCC) assessed the damage thoroughly and came to the conclusion that the span of the bridge would have to be removed and replaced. Following this decision a new plan was devised between Mabey and NCC.

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The new design brief was to support either end of the bridge span with towers with facility to hydraulically raise the ends. The parapet was to be cut and the bridge ends raised using the hydraulics, ensuring the span was free and able to be lifted using a crane.

The following day the additional two towers were delivered and erected in advance of the planned span removal on Saturday 20th March. When the span removal took place, the parapet handrail was cut free at either end of the span and the deck was raised sufficiently to ensure the deck was free and supported on the towers. The crane then lifted the span onto a waiting low loader.

The same crane then lifted the Mass 25 towers onto waiting artics and all materials removed to a local NCC depot, from where the towers were later collected. By Sunday 21st March, 5 days after the initial call came into Mabey, the road was reopened.

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