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Bridge lift completed in one morning

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Shoreditch High Street in east London was closed for one Saturday morning last month to allow a new 38m long steel bowstring bridge to be lifted into position.

The entire bridge deck was assembled by Fairfield Mabey in an adjacent goods yard and the completed structure weighed more than 350t. To lift this massive structure the UK’s largest mobile crane, a 1,200t capacity Gottwald AK680, was hired from Sarens.

Getting this machine to site, along with all of its associated rigging and jibs, required 38 truck loads, delivered over two days.

With the mobile crane positioned and fully rigged in the assembly yard, the lifting procedure involved hoisting the completed structure off of its temporary trestles and over a yard wall. It was then slewed into position, above Shoreditch High Street, before being lowered on to the abutment bearings.

The lift went to schedule and apart from the weather the only potential hazard was a listed Dutch barn roofed building which is adjacent to the bridge’s western abutment.

The new bridge forms a link between the new Shoreditch Station, currently under construction, and the northern section of the new East London railway line. Working on behalf of main contractor Balfour Beatty Carillion Joint Venture, Fairfield Mabey will erect two more steel bridges on the line during May.

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