ALE performs double bridge replacement in 56 hours

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ALE has undertaken a vital double bridge replacement in the UK to help future proof the region’s rapid transit and light rail system.

The bridges, located in Newcastle, are part of the Tyne and Wear Metro, which serves 36 million passengers a year. The system was first opened in 1980 and required modernisation to ensure the infrastructure could handle growth in the region.

ALE was required to first remove the old bridges, which weighed in at around 55 tonnes, and install the significantly heavier replacements, which weighed 200 tonnes.

The company only had 52 hours to perform each bridge replacement over consecutive weekends. It was critical that both of the operations were completed within the possession period to minimise disruption.

Multiple items of street furniture needed to be removed to allow for the civil transportations. This required a significant amount of coordination between multiple energy companies and two different councils, North Tyneside and Newcastle City.

The old bridges were jacked up off the abutments using climbing jacks mounted on self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) trailer beds and were then moved up to a mile to a lay down area.

The new bridges were then transported before being jacked down and installed.

Even with the removal of street furniture, the large road movements were tight through the city centre.

Each transportation used 24 axle lines of SPMT in a two by four file six configuration, with bridges supported by ALE trestling.

ALE performs double bridge replacement in 56 hours