Groundforce Bridge completes first installation in Ireland with Mega Bridge

28 Oct

Groundforce Bridge has successfully completed its first installation in Ireland. A 12.6m x 3.5m Mega Vehicle Bridge was installed in just two hours and has provided an eco-friendly solution for site traffic accessing works on a £17 Million major road improvement scheme in Co Derry.

The Mega Bridge supplied to contractor BAM McCann JV (BMCJV) is being used as part of the temporary works construction of a new 6km bypass on the A31 at Magherafelt in Co Derry, providing access for plant and machinery across a river facilitating a haul road. Measuring at 3.5m wide by 12.6m long, this bridge is the largest bridge within the Groundforce Bridge range, capable of carrying industrial plant and heavy vehicles weighing up to 110 tonnes.

The project, which started in June, is part of a major road improvement programme by the Northern Ireland department of Regional Development. Once completed, it will reduce journey times along the A31 corridor ultimately improving road safety by reducing traffic and congestion within the town of Magherafelt, helping improve the quality of local residents.

Groundforce Bridge

The challenges facing the Groundforce Bridge team to meet the design requirements of the client were multi-faceted, however experience and skill from the Groundforce Bridge team rendered these problems as typical issues, many of which they are used to tackling and solving, creating a steady and smooth design and installation process.

The proposed crossing location required the Mega Bridge unit to span a river which is a vital conduit for migrating fish. A permanent bridge would have required piles driven into the river bed to support the body of the construction, causing huge disruption to the spawning fish and the wider population. Because the Mega Bridge can be safely installed without disruption of this kind, it was the perfect solution. Alongside considerations for the local wildlife were those focused on the bridge itself, which had to be capable of carrying fully laden 40 tonne dump trucks. Ensuring this was the case involved several meetings between the Groundforce Bridge team of Terry Mead, Chris Wilson, Groundforce's local rep Ruairi O'Neill, and Mark McCann from FP McCann. To meet the client’s requirements, bespoke modifications were required which included increasing the width of the platform to 4.0m to allow clear access for the dump trucks.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the entire procedure was the installation itself; on an agreed date the 12.6m bridge consisting of several component parts arrived on site at 10am from the local Lisburn depot on the back of a 40ft wagon. Using a long reach crane the components were lifted into place and assembled by the team. By 11:50am the bridge had been installed and was ready for use, a complete solution to a complex set of problems in less than 2 hours.

Mark McCann, Engineer at FP McCann said: “The service Groundforce has provided has been excellent and we would certainly consider using them again in the future.”

The project which started in June is due to be completed in September 2016 and the Mega Bridge will be on-site for 12 weeks.

Groundforce Bridge offers a range of temporary bridging solutions tailored to the requirements of the construction, transmission, rail and events industries. Its products comprise a range of modular flat-pack bridges ranging from the Mini Bridge, a 3.0m wide design which spans up to 4.5m and will carry loads up to 44 tonnes, to the lightweight Pedestrian Bridge spanning up to 6.0m, the Midi and Maxi Bridge with a span of 5.25m and 8.0m, and finally the Mega Bridge with a span of 10.6m