Ainscough’s Heavy Cranes division has played a pivotal role in the installation of a new bridge deck spanning the M180 motorway close to Scunthorpe in North Lincolnshire.

Using a Liebherr LTM 1500-8.1 to complete the positioning of a replacement bridge beam, the process was captured in a time-lapse video footage by customer, integrated highways services company, A-one+.

Moor Bridge which spans the M180 south of Scunthorpe suffered damage to an outer beam which was considered beyond repair and subsequently in need of replacement.

The M180 was closed in both directions during the replacement with the 500-tonne crane arriving on site at 4am and taking four hours to rig and ballast using 75-tonne of kentledge weights.

The long bridge edge beam was precast, measured 24.3m and arrived on site by low loader. Temporary edge protection system was installed onto the beam while in situ on the loader with debris netting added to prevent fragments falling onto the carriage way during assembly and fit. In addition a temporary restraint unit was installed to be used when the unit was lifted into place to attach it to the remaining bridge deck.

Once the preparation work was complete the 500 tonne crane lifted the 64 tonne precast bridge unit into place carrying out a perfect 90 degree swing to lower it onto the pier.

Andrew Winter, Ainscough’s Heavy Cranes operations Director said: “This was a well-planned and flawlessly delivered lift by our team. The conditions on the day were perfect and the closed carriageway provided excellent access for us.

“There is always pressure to complete the lifts safely and to schedule. This is particularly true when we are required to close major highways. The film offers a great insight into our operations and we were pleased to demonstrate our capabilities in this manner.”

To complete the scheme engineers installed reinforcement and cast concrete in the stitch of the deck slab. All temporary restraints were removed and a replacement parapet was installed. The deck was waterproofed and surfaced with kerbs and verges laid with safety barriers added to the approach and departure ends of the parapet.

The use of such a large crane happens so rarely at A-one+ projects that site visits were arranged for staff not involved with the project. The group of site visitors met at 7am for a site induction and were given demonstrations and tours during the installation.

A-one+ is a shared joint venture between Ch2m, Colas and Costain carrying out maintenance and repairs on motorways and trunk roads on behalf of Highways England.

Film of the bridge installation can be viewed here.


A team from Ainscough’s Heavy Cranes Division has successfully lifted into place a bridge at the Port of Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey, just off the coast of Kent.

This has created a £3 million link from the docks to the newly developed Wellmarsh site which will host a state-of-the-art logistics hub, as the giant steel bridge now spans the Brielle Way at Blue Town. The job was carried out for John Sisk Construction, which is delivering the works for Peel Ports Medway, the harbour authority for a stretch of the Rivers Medway and Swale.

The bridge is part of a £50 million investment by Peel Ports. The former Thamesteel site, which had been derelict for five years, is being redeveloped to allow the port to expand its cargo imports. The delicate lifting of the bridge, which was carried out over a ten hour period, meant that the main A249 into Sheerness was subject to an overnight closure.

The 92-tonne structure was raised to 38 metres by a 1000-tonne crane. From end to end the bridge is 230m long, the equivalent of almost four football pitches, and has a height of 6.5m.

The job was carried out for Nusteel Structures – one of the UK’s leading suppliers of steel bridges and gantries – working on the site, which is owned by Peel Ports Medway: the harbour authority for a stretch of the Rivers Medway and Swale.

Paul Barker, Port Director at Peel Ports Medway, said: “The bridge is a major part of our 20-year masterplan for growth at Sheerness.

“It will allow port vehicles to move safely and securely between the port estate and the proposed Wellmarsh site, improving access for customers, and reducing port traffic on public roads.”

Andrew Winter, Operations Director of the Heavy Cranes Division added: “This was a significant lift by our team which needed to be completed within a strict schedule to allow the road to reopen on time. The preparation work we undertook meant we were able to deliver for our customer once again and help them expand their port operations.”

A competition to name the bridge is currently being run by Peel Ports which has asked residents to choose from three options: Wildfire Bridge, Samuel Pepys Bridge or Blue Town Bridge.


Ainscough Crane Hire has provided support to integrated property services provider Styles&Wood at the site of Dalton Place a major Manchester city centre office refurbishment, a stone’s throw from Manchester Town Hall.

Dalton House, on John Dalton Street, is being refurbished into 65,000 sq ft of office space over six upper floors after its original tenant, accountancy giant KPMG, vacated for a move to a new HQ on St Peter’s Square.

Using one of its fleet of mobile tower cranes, a Liebherr MK 140, the Ainscough team provided lifting support to the contractor for four days lifting construction materials and structural steel.

Richard Heptinstall, senior operations manager at Ainscough’s Heavy Cranes Division said: “The narrow nature of the roads around the site and the height of the building, meant we needed to use one of our mobile tower cranes for this particular lift.

“These cranes are specifically designed for exactly this scenario where there isn’t the necessary space to operate with a traditional telescopic mobile crane. The job went exactly as planned and we look forward to assisting Styles&Wood again in the future.”

These latest lifts are in addition to approximately ten days of crane operation Ainscough has delivered on site to date.