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Pooley Bridge | Engineers reveal bridge lift logistics challenge

The logistics of the Pooley Bridge lift have been revealed by engineers on the project.

Working as principal contractor for Cumbria County Council, Eric Wright Civil Engineering completed the lift of the £5M bridge in May last year before it formally opened in November.

Operations director Gavin Hulme told NCE’s Future of Bridges conference that the crane took approximately two days to rig while the lift itself was completed in two to three hours.

“It was a very smooth process in the end,” he said.

The team settled on a Gottwald AK680 crane for the lift and the bridge had a calculated weight of approximately 320t including all lifting tackle and rigging. The lift radius was 45m.

“On the day of the lift we got an approximate weight of the combined structure and it was 317t so we were just within capacity although there was some extra capacity in the crane if the total weight was more,” Hulme said. “It’s worth mentioning that the top concrete deck wasn’t poured prior to the lift because that would have introduced additional structural problems for the lift and also put the crane over capacity.”

Site constraints also required careful forward planning.

Hulme explained: “It’s a very tight site and there are two separate super lift trays so we needed the one on the right hand side by the cofferdam for the abutments to lift the bridge up, and the crane then swung around and picked up the second super lift tray on the left hand side before jibbing out and positioning the bridge in its final position.

“It’s very tight logistically – on the river side there’s very little clearance and the crane had to be set back from the river to ensure stability of the outriggers. Quite a lot of planning went into the lifting stage.”

Hulme added that the lift happened in May 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We worked with the council to carry on working through that period,” he said. “Originally a big event was planned with public attendance but in the end it was a muted event with just our site operatives and some people from the village that watched.”

The bridge is the country’s first stainless steel road bridge, spanning the River Eamont at Pooley Bridge in Cumbria. It reconnects the local community for the first time since the town’s historic bridge was washed away by Storm Desmond in 2015.

Knight Architects provided the bridge design while GHD acted as structural engineers on the project. The bespoke concrete mix was supplied by Hanson.

Source https://www.newcivilengineer.com/innovative-thinking/pooley-bridge-engineers-reveal-bridge-lift-logistics-challenge-25-06-2021/

Department of Civil Engineering https://www.ibu.edu.ba/department-of-civil-engineering/