Ainscough Crane Hire has completed a series of complex lifts on behalf of infrastructure specialists, Story Contracting Limited, in Blackpool to upgrade Crossley’s Bridge that’s located to the north of the seaside resort’s town centre.
The work is being carried out as part of a wider programme of infrastructure improvements in the area which will see Blackpool’s 10 bridges renovated and upgraded to future-proof them for road traffic. Ainscough’s work on Plymouth Road follows on from a £255 million pound investment by Network Rail to electrify the 17-mile rail route between Preston and Blackpool North Station.
In order to raise the bridge, a team from Ainscough’s Heavy Cranes Division first had to remove a series of beams from the east and west side of the abutments. The existing cills were demolished using breakers, powerful percussion hammers fitted to excavators. The task was made more challenging due to unexpected metal supports in the reinforced concrete.
Ainscough operators were then able to lift the spans, which weighed up to 50 tonnes each, using a Liebherr LTM11000 D, a 1,000 tonne all-terrain mobile crane, a Liebherr LG1550, a 550 tonne lattice boom strut crane and a Liebherr LTM1500-8.1, a 500 tonne all-terrain mobile crane. The spans were loaded onto transport vehicles for removal and new sections of the bridge were installed in their place.
Outlining the lifts, technical contracts manager, Dave Baxter said: “We are always mindful of the need to complete projects in a timely manner, but it’s paramount when operating under a rail possession and an access road that is generally requiring 24 hour access.
“Working through the night in sub-zero temperatures, we were able to carry out a series of lifts that were only possible thanks to the expertise of Story Contracting Limited, our personnel and the quality of the equipment we have at our disposal in the Ainscough fleet.
“The 1,000 tonne crane was ideal for this contract with its rigging and lifting capabilities within confined spaces, the LTM11000 D proves itself time and time again.”
Michael Bell, site manager at Story Contracting Limited, said: “The job went to plan and Ainscough’s work played a vital role in ensuring that the lifts were completed within our time frame. “Ainscough’s service was of a very high standard and it is a testament to their team and their cranes that a complex job was done with ease.”
“Steve Waterworth, national business development manager at Ainscough said: “Ainscough’s commitment to high quality work was again shown at Blackpool Crossley’s Bridge.
“Dave Baxter and his team planned every lift to precision, before completing the job to our usual high standard.”
Reinstatement of the main bridge is due to be completed in time for the Easter holidays .