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M42 ATM Gantry Installation

Nusteel supplies a large range of steel footbridge and gantry structures in the UK for a variety of different clients and applications.

The company is currently working closely with Birse Civils Ltd and Mouchel Parkman for the Highways Agency (HA) on the M42 Active Traffic Management Pilot Project. The complex nature of the project, together with its development status, has necessitated a close working relationship between all parties.

Fabricated Structural Steel provides the main components for Active Traffic Management (ATM) gantries that have been selected for the M42 resignalling project between junctions 3a and 76 just to the south east of Birmingham. Nusteel Structures Ltd are providing these units on a subcontract design, supply, deliver and install basis. The current contract involves the provision of 46 portal and 19 cantilever gantries together with associated Advanced Motorway Indicator (AMI) and Digital Enforcement Equipment (DEE) interface support steelwork.

The purpose of the equipment carried on the new gantries is to allow instant real time monitoring of traffic conditions as well as giving feedback to the road user. The data collected is collated at a central control, with variable speed limit and lane closure information being displayed on the gantry signage to help minimise traffic congestion and warn motorists of traffic hazards.

Key design advantages for the new gantry arrangement include the aesthetically pleasing, lightweight structures, cost effective construction and with minimised maintainance costs due to elimination of access walkways. The design also allows installation in one short lifting period. The lighter construction reduces the crane sizes and hence costs for lifting.

Nusteel workshops have been developed to allow the complete fabrication of units in one length up to 55m, with items being split after fabrication if the transportation to the final location dictates. The portal frames at the M42 span up to 46m, while the cantilevers are typically span 10m spans. The portal frames are a new prototype design in lightweight tubular section steel, which are erected in night time road closures to minimise inconvenience to local and through traffic.

Nusteel is also supplying the electrical communications cabling on the gantry structures. The equipment is pre-installed at the Birse assembly site near to the M42 prior to being transported as complete “plug and play” units to site; minimising installation and commissioning work on site.

For this particular project Nusteel has employed Gifford Consulting Engineers on HA’s behalf to develop and complete the design before the final fabrication details being developed by Nusteel’s own engineering staff.

AUTHOR
Angus McConchie C.Eng MICE – Commercial Manager – Nusteel Structures Ltd

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