RMD Kwikform proved its reputation for reliability and engineering excellence after being called on to provide a rapid solution to construct the Astmoor Approach Viaduct, part of the Mersey Gateway Crossing.
Construction of the Mersey Gateway Crossing commenced in 2014 and is due to finish in Autumn 2017. The new six-lane toll bridge will cross the Mersey River and Manchester Shipping Canal, with the Astmoor Approach Viaduct, led by main contractor Mersey Link CJV, forming a vital part of the 2 km crossing.
RMD Kwikform was approached to provide a solution to support the 115 tonne pre-cast concrete beams. However, due to the tight timescales on site, where the main contractor needed to build a 40m span each week, RMD Kwikform only had seven days from initial contact to produce the design and commence delivery of equipment to site.
Ian Fryer, Engineering Director at RMD Kwikform, explains:
“We supplied a Megashor and Rapidshor propping system to support the pre-cast beams situated at each 40m span. As this is an exposed riverside site, and the viaduct reaches heights of 25m, it was vital that we provided a solution that made the most out of the permanent works in order to withstand high wind loads. In the end it was a combination of RMDK systems that provided the optimum arrangement:
“On the outside of the composite assembly, the precast beams are landed directly onto Megashor supports which subsequently also support the bulk of the deck construction. The Megashor is laterally supported in one axis by Megashor yokes that clamp around the piers. Between the piers Rapidshor falsework supports the Megashor yokes and the cast in-situ crosshead, as well as providing a boarded access from which the pre-assembled Megashor falsework could be safely erected and attached.”
In total, the Megashor and Rapidshor towers support over 6,500 tonnes of bridge. Due to the sheer scale of the project, and the volume of equipment required on such short notice, RMD Kwikform called on its national branch network to supply materials and equipment. From London, Glasgow, and all over the UK, equipment was sourced and delivered to site on time, with no delay to programme.
Ian Fryer continues:
“Earlier in the project, RMD Kwikform provided customised steel faced climbing formwork for the multitude of multi-lift piers. The finish on these piers is exemplary and we were pleased that when Mersey Link CJV needed a solution on the viaduct deck, we were approached once again to provide a solution.
“Of course, short timescales are often part and parcel of the industry, and this project is testimony to our engineering, service, and delivery teams nationwide. We’re very pleased to have been involved in this project, and look forward to the opening of Mersey Gateway Crossing later on this year.”