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Modulift beams integral to preserving unique Southampton heritage

Modulift beams integral to preserving unique Southampton heritage

Three Modulift spreader beams were used in a one-over-two configuration beneath the hook of a 350t capacity mobile crane to remove the historic Castle Way footbridge in Southampton, UK last month (September).

Lifting and height safety specialist TackleStore Ltd T/A supplied the beams—a MOD 70 and two MOD 12s—alongside slings and shackles. The company delivered the rigging equipment to King Lifting, who regularly work with, for use with the rental firm’s six-axle Terex Demag AC 350-6. R&W Group, a provider of civil engineering, traffic management, rail, environmental, and plant services, oversaw the overnight removal of the historic bridge, which weighed just over 12t.

“Obviously, when an overnight closure of a public highway is scheduled, it’s important that the rigging gear is provided in a timely fashion and it meets the requirements of the lift. Understanding the load and detailed planning are prerequisites to success in such circumstances,” said Karl Chapple, hire and sales manager at

The MOD 70 was used at 12m (39 ft.) in length above the pair of shorter, 2m (6.5 ft.)-long MOD 12s, which were utilised at either end of the spreader at a 90-degree angle to the top beam. A MOD 70 offers up to 70t at 10.5m (33 ft.) and up to 14m (45 ft.) at a lower capacity, while a MOD 12 offers up to 12t at 4.75m (15 ft.) and up to 6.5m (21 ft.) at a lower capacity. provided 8m-long, 20t capacity and 3m-long, 5t capacity roundslings, which combined to attach the rig to the hook of the crane and wrap beneath the footbridge.

The unique bridge, which provides a link between part of the city’s historic walls for pedestrians, was successfully removed during a 10pm to 6am road closure. The structure was taken to Solent Protective Coatings (SPC) where remedial works will be carried out over an approximate five-week period before the same equipment will return to the site for an overnight window of the same duration to reinstall the footbridge.

Talking to local media, Councillor Jacqui Rayment, cabinet member for transport and public realm, said: “We are committed to protecting and promoting Southampton’s amazing and unique heritage. Once back in place, the newly refurbished Castle Way footbridge will showcase the walls and the city to residents and visitors alike for many more years to come. The work to remove [and replace] the footbridge…will take place overnight with as little disruption as possible.”

Chapple added that the Modulift equipment was sourced from stock and explained that one-over-two spreader beam systems are particularly commonplace when there is a need to create or lift from four pick points. Overnight reinstallation of the bridge is scheduled for 29 October.

A video of the project can be seen here:

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