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Sat June 06 2020

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Bespoke formwork for Manchester lift-bridge

1 Oct 15 RMD Kwikform has supplied its Ascent Screen formwork and a range of bespoke solutions for Peel's £30m Western Gateway Infrastructure Scheme.

The formwork was assembled beneath M60
The formwork was assembled beneath M60

The formwork enables concrete specialist Howard Civil Engineering to build four 30-metre high towers that will support a 38-metre high lifting bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal in Port Salford.

As the site is underneath the live M60 motorway, there is no room error. Each tower is therefore being constructed simultaneously to keep to the fast-track programme.

The project is part of the £30m Western Gateway Infrastructure Scheme (WGIS) that is being undertaken by main contractor Hochtief (UK) and Buckingham Group Contracting in joint venture for client Peel Holdings. 

With the first phase of WGIS under way, which includes several rail over road bridges and various new link roads, the key challenge faced by Howard Civil Engineering was the safe delivery of the lift-bridge structure within a tight programme.

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Dermot Donelon, RMD Kwikform representative from its Haydock branch, said: “We first started working with Howard Civil Engineering 18 months before the project came to fruition on site. With our local branch just 20 minutes away, we held regular meetings to discuss and understand which solution would suit each phase of the project.

“It was crucial that we got it right first time; the site is located directly underneath the live motorway and next to Port Salford, which is the largest port in the UK and eighth largest in the world. The solution on site has naturally been very health and safety focused, our carpenters prepared all of the individual bespoke shapes for the inner workings of the bridge prior to the start of the project, this eradicated the need for dismantling and reassembly works on site.”

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