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.