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2nd January 2019



Ainscough Crane Hire’s Heavy Cranes team has helped to install a new canal bridge in the Warwickshire town of Rugby which will carry a new highway over the Oxford Canal.

Working for main contractor Galliford Try, the team lifted the 25 precast bridge sections using a Liebherr LTM 1800 1000-tonne crane. The bridge parts consisted of 23 55-tonne beams and two 103-tonne beams which will form part of the carriageway of a new link road to the emerging urban extension of Houlton.

The lifts were delivered within a tight, 5-day canal closure window following the beam’s arrival by road from the manufacturer in Ireland. Liaison between the contractor and the Ainscough team was vital as the sequencing between beam delivery and lifts needed to operate to a strict schedule to avoid delays to the re-opening of the canal.

The lift process saw the operators first lift the beams from the transportation trailer and position them ready for a second lift, following a necessary rearrangement of rigging, into their final position on the newly constructed bridge abutments.

The 23 inner beams were lifted and secured first followed by the two edge beams which were lifted on a 36 metre radius.

Graham Lindley, Heavy Cranes Technical Manager, at Ainscough said: “The nature of the lifts and the size of the beams meant this was a high risk category job. We worked with the contractor meticulously refining the details of the lifts for a number of months to ensure the process went safely and as smoothly as possible.

“The lifts were completed within the canal closure window in what was a very successful operation and a significant achievement for both ourselves and for the contractor.”

When complete, Houlton will comprise 6,200 homes as well as extensive green spaces and local amenities such as primary and secondary schools. The new link road connecting Houlton to Rugby town is piece of key infrastructure for Houlton and currently under construction and will be open in summer 2019.

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