Carter’s Bridge – an Award-Winning Project

Jamestown Steel supplied 130 tonne steel girders to an award-winning bridge project in north-west England. The bridge, constructed by J Murphy and Sons Ltd., crosses Spring’s Branch Line between Garswood and St Helens. The project was rewarded with the Medium Civil Engineering Project of the Year at the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) North West Awards in 2017.

Avoiding Closure

Designed by Manchester-based Tony Gee and Partners, the new bridge replaced a predecessor which became non-compliant when the railway line was electrified. The bridge had provided a farmer’s only means of access to part of his land, and for this reason the initial plan, which was to build a new structure on the existing abutments, requiring a ten-week period without access, was shelved in favour of an innovative solution. This new plan was to build a 39-metre single span bridge, to be constructed parallel to the existing bridge. The old bridge could therefore continue in use. However, further problems arose from the need to keep the railway line open (just two 29-hour closures would be allowed) and the safety considerations arising from the electrified line below.

Weathering Steel Beams

Jamestown’s weathering steel beams were lifted into place with the stringcourse and parapet already in place, thus removing the requirement for temporary works over the railway during construction and allowing the bridge to be installed during the 29-hour railway closure.

BIM Model

A 3D Building Information Model was used during the design process, helping to ensure that all contractors were able to share information and remain within the demanding schedule.

A Great Example

At the Awards Ceremony in Blackpool, Darrell Matthews, North West regional director of the Institution of Civil Engineers, said: “The new Carter’s Bridge is a great example of how civil engineers solve problems. In this case, an old bridge had to be replaced while causing the least possible disruption to the people who needed access to it and the railway that passed under it.

“The engineers achieved this by ingenuity in design and construction, including the prefabrication of bridge components off-site so they could be installed using a large capacity crane during a single 29-hour closure…. The whole thing was delivered on time, on budget, with an excellent safety record and minimal impact on the environment.”

An award-winning bridge design in Wigan