Leading lifting solutions company, Ainscough Crane Hire, has lifted a ‘Skew’ bridge on Blackpool Road in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, and taken it on its final recycling journey. A Skew bridge takes its name from the slanted angle at which it crosses its obstacle.
The ‘cradle-to-grave’ operation was delivered on behalf of Lancashire County Council as part of the Ansdell Bridge widening scheme which involved the removal of the bridge in two sections and it’s transportation to a recycling centre in preparation for its replacement.
The bridge carries the B5621 (Blackpool Road) over the Blackpool to Preston rail line in-between Lytham and Ansdell & Fairhaven stations on the West Lancashire coast. A railway possession was put in place to ensure the team were able to work safely to remove the bridge.
Working under strict time restrictions, Ainscough used a Liebherr LTM 1300-6.2 to lift the bridge sections onto a waiting trailer and a LTM 1095-5.1 to remove the sections once they had been delivered by road to the recycling centre in Wigan.
The crane required full ballast and went through a six hour rigging and de-rigging process which was difficult to plan owing to the site’s constraints.
Overseen by Ainscough’s team which included contract manager Ross Chappell, a lift supervisor, two slinger banksmen and the crane operator, the lifts were planned in meticulous detail during four site visits with the client and other contractors.
Paul Haigh, depot manager at Ainscough’s Lancaster Depot, and the appointed person on the lift, said: “Working with a rail possession always brings with it a focus on efficiency and timing. Everything needs to run like clockwork and there is often very little leeway.
“The removal lift of the skew bridge was the most challenging here as the highways were quite narrow and space was at something of a premium. This meant the solution for the lift involved the crane positioned on one side of the bridge, with the trailer on the other. The sections were then attached-to-and-braced-by the crane while the final cut was made. Once free, we lifted them onto the waiting trailer.
“The trailer then made its way to the recycling centre where a much more straight forward lift of the sections took place. The entire process took 10 hours which was shorter than we had planned for.”
Although this was the first project delivered for Lancashire County Council, since its completion, addition lifts have been carried out.
Mark Dunbar, area sales manager added: “It required a team effort and I’d like to pay tribute to the individuals who were instrumental in delivering this project.”