In a complex and meticulously planned lifting operation that took place in the middle of the night, Caunton Engineering, working alongside the main contractor Kier Central’s site team craned a 73 m-long footbridge into place at Mansfield’s new multi-million pound bus station.
The process began over two weeks in advance with the delivery of the bridge to the site adjacent to Mansfield’s railway station, in four sections. Day one saw the assembly of two of these sections, one weighing in at 18-ton and the other at 12-ton, which were bolted together to form one half of the bridge. This process was repeated the following day to assemble the second half of the structure. In total the 73m-long link bridge weighs in at over 60 tons.
The close proximity of the link bridge to the existing railway line and viaduct meant the operation to lift the two sections of bridge into place had to be carried out at night under a Network Rail possession. The site team assembled at 10pm and, after an induction and briefing, began setting up the 350-ton mobile crane that would be used to lift the two halves of the bridge into place. Lifting began just after 1am and after some initial repositioning of lifting gear, the first section of the bridge was craned into position without any problems.
Due to its position between the first section of bridge and the new bus station, both now being fixed points, lifting the second half of the bridge into place was always going to be the most challenging aspect of the operation - the team had to get it right first time with just a tiny margin for error. But the meticulous preparation and expertise of the team paid dividends and the second piece was lifted into place with perfect precision.
Mansfield’s new bus station, which is being constructed by Kier for Nottinghamshire County Council, is situated less than 200 yards away from the market place and is an integral part of Mansfield’s town regeneration plan. The newly erected footbridge forms an important link between the town’s railway station, and a new bus station whose steel framing is again by Caunton – see the photograph. This will benefit the five million passengers who used the old bus station each year and will encourage more people to travel by public transport. Caunton are delighted to have been a contributor to this regeneration