£14m Expenditure Towards Strenghening A66 Surtees Bridge Aided By Largest Crane 31/05/2006

The UK’s largest mobile crane is being used in the £14M scheme that is taking place in order to strengthen the A66 Surtees Bridge in Teeside.
As part of the scheme the bridge will needed to be lifted out and will therefore be closed on 2 and 9th June between 7.30pm and 6.30am. The sections that need to be lifted out weigh up to 254 tonnes each. Once the sections have been lifted out the new bridge supports will then be constructed. These will be built in the river ready for when the new bridge deck is completed in the summer.

Due the bridge being closed the River Tees will be closed at the same time as the bridge, when the bridge lifts are being carried out. Alternative arrangements are being made so that evening sails of the Teesside Princess will still go ahead without too much interruption.

Project leader for the Highways Agency, Arun Sahni said: "This is a very significant part of the work on the replacement of the bridge. The crane that will lift out the existing sections is being supplied by a local Middlesbrough company so this is a real red-letter day for the area. In all four sections of the existing bridge will be lifted out, two on 2 June and the other two on 9 June."

"The actual lifts will take place probably between midnight and early the following morning but we are fully closing the bridge for the safety of drivers and also the workforce involved with the lifts."

"As with any work involving cranes, the lifts may have be called off at the last minute if the weather conditions, for example wind, rain or mist, are deemed to be too hazardous for the them to go ahead. We have looked at this and have a contingency that the lifts would take place the following night if either has to be postponed."

The new part of the bridge is set to be completed and open for vehicle use by the autumn. Other parts of the bridge are due to be replaced in December and January.

The crane that will be used for this project measure 80 meters in height (263 feet), the job length usually measures at 65 meters, but is able to be extended to 72 meters (234 feet). The crane is able to lift a maximum capacity of 1200 tonnes, and weighs 112 tonnes itself. 600 tonnes of counterweights can be added onto the crane.

It will take three days to set up the crane, which will have to be delivered on 45 wagons and put up using a 100 tonne crane. It will be a five day process to take the crane apart and then set it up on the other side of the river between the two lifts.

Sarens UK of Middlesbrough owns the crane that will be used in the lifts. It is the largest crane available in the UK.

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