Groundforce Bridge's Fly in to Help with Access

16 Jan

Groundforce Bridge fly in their temporary bridges to provide an eco-friendly access solution for pylon construction in Ireland.

Groundforce Bridge has supplied a range of temporary bridges to specialist contractor Network Grid Services, to provide access for the construction of 45 new pylons in Ballina, County Mayo for the Electricity Supply Board (ESB). 

Due to the sites being in such remote locations reaching them by road was a major challenge, plus there were environmental considerations to take into account, so delivering the bridges required a rather unorthodox approach – by helicopter!

A total of nine bridges have been supplied including a 10m x 3m and 7.25m x 3m Vehicle Bridges a 5m x 2m Trench Crossing Unit, and six 10m x 1m new aluminium Pedestrian Bridges, providing access to the sites over the rivers and ditches for the contractors and plant required for construction of the pylons. 

As well the remote location, the sites are also within a European designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and home to the Freshwater Pearl Mussel which is a protected species. With any construction on and disturbance of the river bed leading to loss of or damage of the mussels, all rivers and ditch crossings are required to have clear span bridges installed over them.

Having worked with Groundforce previously, Pat Kelly (insert title) from Network Grid Services contacted Groundforce Bridge to see what options they could offer.  Terry Mead, managing director of Groundforce Bridge made four pre-installation visits to the sites to consider all the issues before presenting the best solution.

However, with delivery by road an impossibility for the new 10m aluminium Pedestrian Bridges, which come as an assembled unit, a different delivery option was needed. Working together with Grid Network Services they decided the best solution was to fly them in by helicopter. 

“Groundforce managing director, Terry Mead said: “Once we had decided on which bridges would be needed we had to then look at how we could deliver them to the sites. Without doubt, this was one of the most difficult and challenging projects that we have undertaken since forming the bridging division four years ago. With restricted access to all sites, six of which needed the assistance of a helicopter to site the six new 10m Pedestrian Bridges.” 

Pat Kelly from Network Grid Services said: “We are very pleased with Groundforce Bridge it all went as planned and they did a great job.”

The bridges will remain in place until the end of September 2017.

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 pedestrian bridges up to their 12m Mega Vehicle Bridge.