20 March 2014
When small cracks started forming in the foundation supports of a rail bridge, the decision was made that a more cost effective solution to repairing this aging bridge would be to fully replace it. A new bridge was built alongside the existing and on completion, the old bridge was to be dismantled and the new bridge lifted and slid into its place. Arbil Lifting’s hire department was contacted by the contractor for its specialist lifting hire products to carry out this job.
On the near completion of the new bridge build, John Fincher, Arbil Lifting’s Hire Manager was contacted for advice on the best products to assist with the moving of the new bridge. Fincher details,
“Our customer had quite a selection of lifting products within its organisation, but as this was a very specific requirement, with most of the lifting equipment having to fit in extremely small spaces; they did not have the right sized equipment for this bridge move. This was when they contacted the hire team and me.’ Fincher continues,
‘Having worked with Arbil for over 10 years; the customer knew just how large our hire fleet was and knew they could count on us to have a solution. On advice from myself and the team, the customer hired out 8 Hydraulic cylinders, with low height clearance, 2 electric pumps to be used in tandem to symmetrically lift and slide the bridge and 1 manual pump which was decided upon as it was to be used from an unusual position during the move.”
The hire job ran for a period of 5 weeks, this included thorough testing of the cylinders to meet with site requirements, to ensure that the hire products would both lift and slide the bridge into place. The move itself then took place over the Christmas holidays to limit the amount of inconvenience to commuters.
The structural engineers who were working on this move had built tracks, covered with Teflon pads and doused with liquid soap to make them slippery to transport the new bridge along. The 8x 150t hydraulic cylinders picked up the bridge and placed it on the bridge slide steel beams that were placed in between the old and new bridge. Finally, the cylinders then pushed the bridge inch by inch to its new home. Fincher concludes,
“For us this type of hire and consultancy service is part of our day to day job. This is why our customers know they can rely on us for not only our quality service and products but also our industry knowledge”
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