And the Winner is… Intake Transport
THE HEAVIES AWARD 2020 FOR THE JOB OF THE YEAR (CAT2) VEHICLE AND LOAD UNDER 80 TONNES GVW GOES TO INTAKE TRANSPORT.
In the Judges words: “A clear winner. This job was a unique challenge requiring careful planning and co-ordinated movements of three very awkward loads. Further challenges were presented at the delivery point requiring adherence to a very strict timetable.”
Intake Transport successfully conveyed Brayford footbridge from its site of manufacture in Wishaw, Lanarkshire to its site of installation at Brayford Wharf, Lincoln. The entire operation required transporting the footbridge across the country in order for the structure to be delivered and assembled within its city centre location. This was a challenging job as the size, architecture and composition of the footbridge meant that thorough planning, expertise, and teamwork was required.
Brayford footbridge was designed to allow pedestrians to cross the railway tracks at Brayford Wharf safely. The stepped footbridge, which has been likened to a dragon, spans more than 75 metres in length, is up to 6.1 metres at its widest point and weighs more than 90 tonnes. Miller Fabrications consulted Intake Transport early in proceedings in order to use their expertise to decide how best to tackle the logistics of the structure relocation. During this time, the team decided they would be able to transport the bridge as three complete pieces: the main footpath, with each staircase independently. The first piece, the main footpath, has metal spikes in an arc on either side reaching 5.5 metres tall in the middle. By itself, it presented a transportation problem as it was 27 metres long and weighed more than 40 tonnes. The stepped staircases on either side were 24 metres long, 5.4 metres wide and each weighed 25 tonnes.
The main footpath posed a challenge because of its width, length, and height. The footpath portion of the footbridge also curved from left to right, with a camber in the middle and is 6.1 metres at its widest point. This meant, when on the trailer, it would not be fully supported across its 27 metres length – only at either end. As the front portion of the trailer was not long enough to support the front section of the bridge, a special modification was designed and made. A solid steel plate was fitted over the fixed section of the well of the trailer and the sliding bolster, meaning that the bridge was fully supported/provided a landing area. The footbridge portion was also too tall to transport easily due to height restrictions of motorway bridges en route. Intake Transport’s early involvement meant that they were able to identify that removing four central spikes on either side of the footpath would reduce the overall height from 5.5 metres to a more manageable 4.9 metres. These spikes were placed on a pallet and transported on the neck of the trailer ready to be installed just for the final leg of the job where height restrictions would pose less of a problem.
Despite the staircases being smaller, their placement on the trailers was even more challenging than the bridge section. Each staircase was angled and offset, with uneven weight distribution, and made from a steel structure with full glass panelled sides. As experienced hauliers Intake Transport recognised that it was of utmost importance that these were loaded onto the trailer with precision and care so that they could not twist or flex. Any movement like this could have caused irreparable damage to the staircases. To prevent this, Intake Transport designed frameworks to support the curve and twist sections. These were a solid steel column with steel stubs to accommodate the offset of the rear, and a further steel column at the front. Each piece was then bolted to the staircase to secure the load.
The size and dimensions of the footbridge, even when disassembled, meant that its journey through Wishaw, Allanton, Shotts and Lincoln’s streets was a difficult and potentially hazardous one. Additionally, it’s passage was a draw for public attention. As experienced hauliers, Intake Transport knew how to work alongside the local police and council to ensure a safe delivery. However, due to the unique installation site of the footbridge – across a railway line in Lincoln city centre, there were additional concerns that needed to be addressed. For safety reasons, and to minimise disruption to the people and train service of Lincoln, the bridge could not possibly be installed while the trains were running. Therefore, a short window of time was created where the railway line would be closed to allow the safe delivery of the footbridge pieces. This was from midnight to 6am on a Sunday morning. This was agreed with Network Rail in advance of the installation date itself. In addition Police and the council were informed of the impending delivery of the large and complex footbridge structure.
The success of the Brayford Wharf footbridge job lay in the planning, expertise and teamwork of Intake Transport. The planning of the Brayford footbridge job took several months and a close working relationship between Intake transport and the bridge manufacturers from an early stage. For this project’s success, it was necessary to address both the concerns of the logistics of the transport of the footbridge itself, and how it was to be installed in a busy city centre location across a railway line. Their skill and attention to detail saw that the bridge safely maneuvered through various towns and the busy city centre streets of Lincoln.