TPA helps to bridge the gap for Sabrina

10 Mar

Company’s pontoons division helps to combat flooding issues in Worcester.

Helping to re-install a pedestrian bridge over a flooding River Severn during one of the worst winters seen in recent years proved a particular challenge for the pontoons division of specialist access solutions provider TPA.

The company supplied a NATO barge, work and safety boats, MEWPs and operators to main contractor Briton Fabricators for the re-installation of the main span of Sabrina Bridge in Worcester which was removed last autumn for refurbishment off site.

The NATO barge was supplied with handrails and auto-winch spud legs which were used to “anchor” the barge to the river bed, which due to the dynamic water levels experienced between October and February varied between some six to 10m deep. Over Christmas they were so high the re-opening of the bridge had to be postponed for safety reasons.

The barge, which comprised 12 4x2m modular steel floats, was complemented by a 7.5m MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency)-coded work RIB and a 4m aluminium safety boat, all of which were supplied with operators who were overseen by a barge master.

In collaboration with sister Vp plc subsidiary, Higher Access, TPA also supplied two lightweight HAS15 spider MEWPs to help Briton’s operatives work from the barge at heights of up to 6m. These were all craned into place from the river bank by a TPA HIAB and onsite crane.

TPA Pontoons’ business development manager James Myatt explained that the project had presented multiple challenges, including fluctuating water levels and working at height over water with the use of MEWPs.

“This was a complex and diverse project, with many factors to consider. There were lots of changes to the plan due to the flooding and also because the cables for the suspension bridge had to be tensioned frequently but none of it stopped us working and the client seemed extremely happy with our involvement throughout,” he said.

Briton Fabricators’ commercial director Dean Morcom said: “We have worked with TPA on previous contracts and have a good working relationship.”

“On this contract, we had to not only provide safe, complex access to the underside of the existing and new structure but also to manage the river traffic around us. TPA were instrumental in the safe shepherding of the public river users and in maintaining an exclusion zone to allow our operations to continue. This was tested during the contract due to rising flood water levels, which were safely managed by TPA.”

He added: “TPA were flexible, on time, and willing to assist throughout all operations.”

The major refurbishment of Sabrina Bridge, its first for 28 years, was part of Worcestershire County Council’s infrastructure programme to improve walking and cycling routes in and around Worcester.

TPA helps to bridge the gap for Sabrina