Water way to go…


Hawks has been busy providing lifting services to Barnsley, UK-based specialist engineers, Qualter, Hall & Co Limited for a bridge lift in London’s iconic Canary Wharf financial district.

Once completed, the new 36m-long bridge, which was designed by Knight Architects with COWI and Eadon Consulting for Canary Wharf Group, will include a 28m-long central span across the southern end of Bellmouth Passage, providing a road and pedestrian link between Montgomery Square and the new Wood Wharf development.

To complete the lifting works Hawks’s supplied a fully managed contract lift service inclusive of – the crane operator, a crane supervisor and a slinger/signaller, to help install the hydraulic rams that raise the 200-tonne bridge deck, as well as assorted items for the plant room

While the job looked simple on paper, preparation, said Elliot Hawkins, Hawks’s managing director, was the key to successfully completing the work required.

“Several of our competitors looked at this job but had to withdraw their interest because the temporary works required meant the crane had to work from the newly constructed bridge. Using our expert knowledge of temporary works, we came up with a solution that saw us win yet another prestige job.”

Qualter, Hall & Co Limited were concerned that with the bridge still under construction the only load bearing areas were the precast beams situated on top of the bridge’s piles, while the floating slabs of concrete (cast in between the precast beams) were not load bearing and would be unable to take the load from the crane’s outrigger.

To overcome this Hawks used specialised crane matts shimmed up on road plates to transfer the loadings directly from the crane’s outriggers onto the precast slabs and then into the piles beneath.

“However,” explains Elliot, “to position the crane correctly meant the outrigger locations were slightly off-centre; which also meant we had to calculate the stress and deflection on the crane matt’s due to the off-centre outrigger loadings. Our temporary works engineer also had to calculate the loadings from the outriggers, through the crane matts into the precast beams to ensure they were able to withstand the forces exerted on them.”

Once the temporary works and lift plan had been signed off, Hawks’s experienced lifting team took over using a counterbalance beam to place all the required components into the enclosed plant room, with lifting taking place over eight weeks, leaving one very satisfied customer!