Today, Tuesday 25th February 2014 marked an important milestone in the construction of Littlehampton’s Sea Defences as the especially created Crane Bridge was commissioned.
If you’ve just joined us, a quick overview on why the bridge is necessary.
The Project’s engineering team previously discovered that Pier Road is simply not strong enough to take the weight of the 130tonne crane, which is needed to undertake the piling work. To overcome this problem, a massive ‘Crane Bridge’ or platform has been designed and constructed to lessen the weight impact on Pier Road.
Today, we witnessed the amazing sight of the 130 tonne crane quite literally driving up an especially created shingle ramp onto the Crane Bridge where it will operate from.
The pictures below detail both the construction of the ramp and the driving of the crane onto the platform.
Over 400 tonnes of shingle were needed to build the ramp. Once the piling is finished and the ramp no longer required, the shingle will then be used to back-fill behind the piles, so there’s no extra cost in materials in creating the ramp.
Everyone holds their breath as the crane begins its climb but then the engine stalls leading to some lighthearted banter. The crane is reversed up so as to allow the rear weights take the strain (these are the red blocks at the rear of the crane)
Hanging in the balance. The awful moments when the crane is about to go beyond the point of no return. You’d have to have been there to appreciate the creaking and banging noises, hence the guys all looking upwards.. (I have a video of the whole event which I’ll shortly upload to the Diaries)
A success! The crane is safely in its new position on the recently constructed crane platform. Everyone was impressed with the skill of the crane driver, who made what looked like a near impossible task easy.
So what happens now?
Earlier I caught up with Eric Smethurst, VolkerStevin’s Public Liaison manager.
Eric explained that the crane will now begin piling works in Pier Road. While this is going on, a second bridge will put into position ahead of the existing bridge and the crane will simply drive forward onto this new section when it’s completed. The section the crane was on will then be placed forward of this section and so forth – so essentially ‘leap-frogging’ along Pier Road until all the piling is completed.
It’s an amazing sight. There’s no doubt about it that the construction of Littlehampton’s Sea Defences is now entering an exciting phase. Lots to see, especially in Pier Road, which will now become a hive of activity.
So If you haven’t been down to see the works already – now is a good time.
This is one of two cranes that are now working on the construction of Littlehampton’s Flood Defences. The second crane is currently working in Arun Parade and this is the bigger of the two cranes weighing in a massive 160 tonnes.
If you’re visiting – Remember that (at the moment at least) you can park free in the Windmill Car Park, courtesy of Arun District Council provided you are a customer of a business in Pier Road.
So come down, grab a bite to eat and enjoy the view.
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As always, thank you for reading and joining us.
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