Hawthorne Footbridge Re-construction
None of the 24 footbridges CML have delivered under the CP5 IP Framework have been straightforward but the removal and replacement of Hawthorne Footbridge near Baildon, West Yorkshire, proved particularly challenging.
The footbridge is in a residential area and spans a steep cutting, with no access for a traditional road crane at the site. The nearest access point is a mile away, adding to the challenge of removing the old bridge, transferring it off site and bringing in the new structure.
Working with Network Rail our solution was to use two 55 tonne road rail cranes, which entered the railway at the access point and drove along the track where they were positioned on either side of the bridge. The cranes operated simultaneously to lift out the old bridge and turn it 90 degrees – parallel to the tracks. It was then taken to the access point on trailers, where a 100-tonne road crane unloaded the old bridge. The new footbridge was lifted into place using the same method.
Prior to the main possession the existing bridge was prepared so it could be lifted out in a number of small sections to reduce the weight of each lift. The stone abutment walls were locally dismantled to create access for the new structure.
Tandem cranes are not an everyday sight for local residents and we attracted quite a crowd who took pictures as the two cranes lifted the new bridge deck into position, a highly skilled manoeuvre requiring precision timing.
While the construction ‘show’ proved a great hit with onlookers it was the hard work and thorough planning by the team that ensured the smooth running of the operation on the day. Since there was no alternative pedestrian route available, we held extensive public consultations and although the footbridge had to be closed for several weeks, the bridge was removed and replaced over a single 30-hour possession.
Throughout the project we worked closely with Network Rail maintenance engineers because the bridge carried supports to the Overhead Line Equipment (OHLE).
Network Rail Scheme Project Manager Jonny Ham praised the team for their hard work and collaboration with other contractors. ”Thank you for your work over this weekend and for delivering a successful footbridge installation. Please pass on my thanks to the site teams and support staff.”
Link to feature in the local press: https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/17548118.new-footbridge-over-the-railway-is-opened-in-baildon/