Footbridge Construction – Croxley Green

Sherriff were recently contacted by the Countryside Rights of Way Service to advise on the best solution to undertake the construction work to replace a decaying footbridge in Croxley Green.

Footbridge Stability Inspection

Our team visited the site with the customer to fully assess the condition of the existing bridge to gain a better understanding of the project. During this meeting, the team were made aware of the fact that the location was a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Discovering this fact then required them to discuss in detail how the solution would take into account the sensitivities of the surrounding area.

SSSI stands for Site of Special Scientific Interest. SSSI's are areas of land and water that are considered to be of special scientific interest because of their plants, animals, or geology. Therefore, it was vital that we fully understood the importance and detail in order to help mitigate any environmental risks.

Logistics and Planning

As the bridge's location was remote, the initial visit also provided us with the opportunity to review the logistics of how the machinery and materials would need to be delivered to the site. This would be an important factor in ensuring the project ran smoothly and on time.

Due to the remote location of this job, Sheriff realised they would have to mobilise our staff welfare unit to ensure our team had all the facilities they required on site.

Following the initial investigations, it was agreed that it would be necessary to completely remove the existing bridge and most of the abutment brickwork, and then install an entirely new bridge across the river.

Footbridge Construction Works – Permissions

Before the project could start, all the relevant permissions were required from the Environment Agency to allow works to commence. We applied for the permission and, once they had been obtained, we were able to start with the works.

Footbridge Demolition Contractor

Stage 1 – Existing Footbridge Demolition & Site Preparation

At the beginning of the works, scaffolding needed to be installed across the full span of the river. Our eager team then started with the careful removal of all the existing steel and timber bridge framework. For this stage we were using our robust JCB 360 Excavator which also helped us to demolish the decaying brickwork.

It became clear that our team would need to undertake the clearance of the existing self-set vegetation to allow the suitable access required to provide the engineering works to the brick abutments. This again was carefully undertaken to ensure only the vegetation that needed to be removed was taken out.

Throughout the clearance stages of the project, the team were mindful to ensure the surrounding areas were safe from any potential harm. This included the quick removal of the demolished bridge materials from the site to help avoid any contamination from the likes of metal shards and brick rubble.

Footbridge Construction Design Contractor

Stage 2 – Footbridge Abutment Construction

It was clear from the investigations that the existing brick abutments would require complete renovation with most of the brickwork being replaced for the new footbridge. These were carefully engineered to prepare for them for the installation of reinforced concrete caps. The replaced brick abutments were to be used to site the steel framework once assembled so was an integral stage of the footbridge construction.

We made sure that the choice of bricks to be used would be a good match and in keeping with the surrounding area.

Stage 3 – Footbridge Framework Construction

From our initial site visit, we were aware of the limited access to the site for HGV vehicles. As the new bridge was to be delivered in kit form, as per the customer’s specification, we had to initially store the kit in our yard. Once the works were ready, the new bridge kit was then transferred to site using our smaller goods vehicles.

To construct the bridge, the main steel framework was assembled and lifted into place using our JCB telehandler. This framework was then securely bolted to the new concrete abutments. Once the framework was in place, timber was used to create the deck of the bridge along with the hand railings, which were securely installed to either side of the bridge.

Footbridge Walkway Construction Builder

Stage 4 – Footbridge Approach Renovation

Once the replacement footbridge had been completed, the team created new surfaces at either end to ensure ease of access to the bridge. This was due to it being slightly higher than the existing ground level and needed the extra attention to detail.

To further enhance the safety of the new replacement footbridge for all pedestrians, an additional 20m of approach timber parapet were installed on each side to help prevent any falls. Also, MOT type 1 hardcore was used to properly grade either side allowing sturdy access to the bridge.

We were also requested to install new fencing and gateways that would allow easy access for walkers whilst preventing any of the livestock from leaving the adjacent fields.

Due to the location of the footbridge and the surrounding area being designated as SSSI, this was a complex project with regards to both logistics and the careful approach to the work.

Our team excelled and delivered the Countryside Rights of Way Service the replacement footbridge they wanted.

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