Articles & Case Studies

Floating bridge opens access

Posted: Friday 30th March 2018

Major developers Berkeley Homes turned to Land & Water, a UK based environmental and civil engineering company, to help access a parcel of land on the River Thames in Taplow. Ray Mill Island is positioned in the middle of the river and vital access was required via a footbridge that would span the river and allow a route to a new housing development.

With access to the island site so limited, construction of the bridge from the land was not possible. With traditional land-based access no longer an option, access from the water was the only solution.

Land & Water project specialists utilised an innovative approach that would allow installation of the bridge from the water to connect two parts of the land over a 35 metre stretch of the River Thames. They first installed extensive piled foundations and constructed intricate reinforced concrete abutments to support the statement bridge. The location of the bridge meant that construction of one of the abutments would need to be completed from the water. This required Land & Water's specialist equipment as well as expertise. The equipment included cranes and pontoons specifically designed for this task.

An iconic 40 tonne bridge, the statement piece of this solution manufactured by Berkeley Homes' preferred supplier SH Structures Ltd, was delivered in pieces and assembled on a site over a mile down river.

Using a 500tonne crane, Land & Water hoisted the complete 40 tonne structure onto a waterborne pontoon. They then floated the pontoon with its cargo of a complete bridge up The River Thames. It took six hours and attracted the attention of the Taplow community and many engineers who watched in amazement as it floated past.

On arrival at the location, it was spun round by 90 degrees and placed first time, and with millimetre accuracy, onto the pre-built abutments.

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August 2021

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