For the past three and half years, the Ainscough Crane Hire team from its Falkirk Depot, have been helping to deliver the new Queensferry Crossing for Transport Scotland which is being built by main contractor FCBC (Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors), a joint venture comprising Morrison Construction, HOCHTIEF, American Bridge and Dragados.
The new bridge is due to open in 2017 and forms the centrepiece of a major £1.3 billion upgrade to the important cross-Forth transport corridor in the east of Scotland.
Ainscough’s crane fleet have operated on site from the early stages of its construction. Most recently, the teams highly trained operatives have been hard at work on the emerging road deck of the 1.7 mile bridge which spans the Firth of Forth.
The project has brought a number of challenges such as how to position a crane on the roadway which is yet to be connected to the land. The solution was to lift a Liebherr LTM 1055-3.2, 55 tonne all terrain crane onto a completed section of roadway using the tower crane connected to one the bridge’s 207 metre (679 ft) high towers.
After being stripped of its non-essential components and positioned beneath the tower crane aboard a service barge, the crane was lifted into position and subsequently re-assembled for use in the bridge’s ongoing construction.
Depot manager at Ainscough’s Falkirk Depot, Ciaran McNamee said: “The Queensferry Crossing has been a remarkable job to be involved with. We have had between four and six cranes on site every day for the last three and half years and have watched the bridge slowly emerge through the unified efforts of the contractors on site.
“We are very proud of our involvement in the project and that we are helping to deliver this major piece of new infrastructure to the people of Scotland.”
The 1.7 miles (2.7km) structure will be the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world and also by far the largest to feature cables which cross mid-span. This innovative design provides extra strength and stiffness, allowing the towers and the deck to be more slender and elegant.