Retro Bridge install temporary bridges

Retrobridge have installed two temporary bridges on the Heysham to M6 Link in Lancashire for main contractor Costain. The temporary structures, both Retro Light Bridges by specialist modular bridge supplier Retro Bridge, are the first of their kind to be installed in the UK.

The bridges have been installed to carry a site haul road over the Lancaster Canal and the A6, Lancaster Road to facilitate the movement of over a million cubic meters of material mainly in 40 tn dump truck. This allows Costain to keep the construction vehicles segregated from the local roads, ensuring that the safety of the travelling public is never compromised.

Each bridge has a clear span of 31.5m and a roadway width of 6m and was assembled by a 4 man team from specialist site services contractor Pro steel Engineering in just one day, prior to lifting using a 500t crane and bolting up during a further day or night shift.

Costain carried out an in depth study of different temporary bridge systems available in the UK and chose the Retro Light Bridge over more traditional temporary bridge solutions as it delivered a number of significant benefits for the project.  The Retro Light Bridge combines maximum use of off-site pre-fabrication with on-site assembly into longer lengths at ground level, thus minimising work at height. This combines with the systems’ robust parapet system and deck anti-skid surfacing to deliver a safer solution than panel bridge type systems. Costain’s market research concluded that the Retro Light Bridge is significantly quicker to build – 60% quicker on this project – and requires less in-use maintenance than more traditional systems as the decking does not come loose when trafficked, ensuring less down time and disruption for the bridge user.

The Retro Light Bridge is a perfect example of how a safer, quicker to build and lower maintenance solution can deliver cost savings – which amounted to more than 20% of the bridge superstructure costs on the Heysham project.

Commenting on the successful installation, Alex Cole, Retro Bridge Managing Director, said: “I am delighted that our first Retro Light Bridges have been installed in the UK for Costain. The Heysham project is typical of how I have worked with Costain’s teams over many years to deliver innovative solutions that are safer, quicker to build, require less maintenance, and lower cost than more traditional solutions. I look forward to our bridges demonstrating their worth and to building on the Heysham success on future projects.”

Andy Langley, Costain’s Project Director on the Heysham to M6 Link Road added: “It was a pleasure to watch Retro Bridge’s installation team turn up and install 2 bridges in such a short period of time. I am looking forward to getting the earth moving vehicles over the bridges and successfully delivering this vital link to the local community in Lancaster.”