Cleveland Bridge UK has installed two 1050 tonne bridges in just 11 hours. The project took many months of detailed planning and client liaison to ensure the bridge decks, each measuring 44m in length and containing 330 tonnes of steel and 720 tonnes of concrete, were lowered into position without a hitch.
The bridges are part of Highways England’s A14 Huntington to Cambridge Improvement Scheme and form part of a new junction connecting local access roads. A total of 12 girders were fabricated at the company’s leading fabrication facility in Darlington, County Durham, before being transported by road over two weeks during the summer.
The girders were then braced together on site and handed over to the A14 Integrated Delivery Team (IDT), the joint venture comprising Costain, Skanska, Balfour Beatty 15and designers Atkins/CH2M, working on behalf of Highways England, before the reinforced concrete was added.
Once the concrete was cured, the decks were lifted from a series of trestles onto huge self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs). They were then manoeuvred slowly into position before being lowered onto the newly-constructed reinforced concrete abutments.
The A14 was closed to traffic at 9pm on a Friday evening to allow sections of the existing A14 carriageway to be infilled and regraded at the Bar Hill site to accommodate the SPMTs. The bridges were installed in 11 hours and the road re-opened by noon on Sunday – 18 hours ahead of schedule.