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Thu June 24 2021

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UK’s largest mobile crane helps Costain build bridge

19 Aug 16 Costain has brought in the UK’s largest mobile crane to install the main deck girders for a bridge on the A465 Heads of the Valleys road dualling project in South Wales.

The 1,200t-capacity Gottwald AK680-3 was brought in for a series of lifts on the Clydach River Bridge. Six 70m-span weathering steel main plate girders were brought onto the site in sections by Victor Buyck Steel Construction, with the lifting being carried out by Sarens Group.

Pairs of girders were joined together with bolted splices and internal bracing into 4m-high beams weighing 160t. The crane then lifted three of the pairs into place on the bridge abutments, ready to take a precast concrete deck to be completed later this year.

“Usually the next stage would be to put up permanent formwork and cast an in-situ deck,” said structures manager Dave Morris. “Instead, the whole deck will be precast in sections in a compound on site. There are two main reasons for this: it gives us critical programme savings and it also lightens the deck itself due to the reduction in support steelwork, so it’s a sustainable and a cost-saving engineering solution.”

When complete, the piled integral steel composite bridge will have a single 67m clear span over the River Clydach.

The site team also includes Atkins and Thames Valley Construction; the client is the Welsh Government.

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