The new 5m x 2m Trench Crossing Unit has been designed to meet Eurocode standards for normal highway traffic loading, able to carry 60 tonne vehicles on 2No axles. It is the first in a range of new Trench Crossing Units to be added to the existing Groundforce Bridge portfolio of temporary vehicle and pedestrian bridges.
A key feature of this new product is its modular design; the Trench Crossing Unit can be installed rapidly with a team of two people, Installed in a single lift and taking up to 15 mins. The handrails are then bolted on once in situ.
The R&A who organise The Open Championships, specified the new Trench Crossing Units due to their aesthetically pleasing short span design, plus the added advantage of being able to able to accommodate vehicle access if required.
As well as the new Trench Crossing Units, Groundforce Bridge also supplied a 7.25m x 2.25m Midi Vehicle bridge and two 10m x 3m Maxi Vehicle Bridges, which offers a load capacity of up to 110 tonnes.
The installations were carried out in two phases. Phase one involved two of the new Trench Crossing Units and a 7.25m Vehicle Bridge, which were used to provide secure access to the car parks. The second phase proved to be a much more delicate operation; the bridges were required to cross railway tracks to allow access to the temporary driving range for the golf professionals. This meant the bridges had to be long enough to safely span two rail tracks, and robust enough to carry specialist trucks. It was also imperative they did not come into contact with railway line, as any damage would not only be costly, but also delay the re-opening of the line once the event was over.
Terry Mead, General Manager of Groundforce Bridge said; “We had a very tight time schedule to adhere to, which began as soon as Network Rail closed off the line at 5am on the Thursday morning. We were given a maximum of 10 hours to install both of the 10m Vehicle Bridges which, considering the location and delicacy of the procedure, was tight. With contractors due to arrive at mid-day, it was imperative that we completed the installation on time.”
Both installations were completed on schedule and the bridges remained in situ for the duration of the event.