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15th August 2019


crane securing dam

Ainscough Crane Hire was enlisted by leading infrastructure services, buildings and housing & developments group Kier in order to activate an emergency drawdown plan at Toddbrook Reservoir in Whaley Range, Derbyshire.

Following several days of heavy rain in the Derbyshire town, the reservoir was at risk of collapsing with local residents evacuated from their homes as a precautionary measure.

Ainscough’s Manchester depot received a call on Friday 2nd August to support Kier’s efforts to repair the reservoir on behalf of the Canal & Rivers Trust.

Ainscough’s three man team – crane operator Dave Smith, crane supervisor John Finnegan and slinger Ian O’Donnell – had to be at the reservoir within the hour, and duly arrived in time to complete the required work.

A 55t crane was used to lift three 12-inch submersible pumps and associated pipes over the reservoir bypass channel from Reservoir Road and to place five generators on Reservoir Road.

Kier, along with other members of its supply chain, assisted in securing the dam by removing three weirs, providing 700 tonnes of stone for the RAF to drop using a chinook helicopter and 400 tonnes of grouting. Numerous roads and access points were also installed, including a new road which ran from one side of the reservoir and enabled the water pumps to be installed and maintained.

The work all parties undertook caused water levels to be reduced by 10.7m, resulting in the situation being declared safe and residents being allowed back home.

Gary Rathburn, Ainscough Crane Hire’s Manchester depot manager, said: “We received a call to get to Toddbrook Reservoir within the hour, and we were soon ready on site and working with the Kier team to set up the pipe system and help the local residents get back into their homes.

“We’re thankful we were able to lift the pumps into place as quickly as we were and assist Kier in reducing the water levels before the situation got any worse. This was a perfect illustration of how at Ainscough we can mobilise our fleet quickly during emergencies to support the needs of clients and communities throughout the country.”

The emergency scheme was led by Eddie Quinn, director at Kier Regional Civils, who said: “The situation at Whaley Bridge was tense and at times dangerous. I’m very proud of our supply chain, including Ainscough Crane Hire, for quickly coming together to help the Canal & River Trust and residents in the area. Working together we quickly got the first water pumps into service were able to pump water out of the reservoir quickly.”

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