J.F.E Attridge Scaffolding Debut the New HAKI Bridge System Across Rail Track in Swindon

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International system scaffold manufacturer, HAKI, has developed the new HAKI Bridge System. J.F.E Attridge Scaffolding had a limited time to supply access over the live track and was able to position and secure the bridge in just 15 minutes of track possession time.

HAKI Bridge System

The simple systemised components allowed Attridge’s scaffolders to build the 23.5m bridge in 7 hours despite having never built a HAKI Bridge previously.

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As part of the modernisation of the South West and South Wales railways a temporary bridge was required at Gypsy Lane Swindon. During autumn and winter the footbridge will be provided by the new HAKI Bridge System with a HAKI Public Access Stair on each side. This solution had to be a fast and efficient to build to avoid causing disruption to the busy stretch of track.

In 2013 Network Rail began a project to modernise the South West and South Wales railways. The Great Western Electrification is a £1bn programme to improve one of the busiest stretches of railway in the UK and will upgrade connections between major towns and cities across the South of England. The work between London and Bristol is scheduled for completion in 2016.

In order to prepare for the work, Network Rail firstly had to implement upgrades to bridges and tunnels along the track as well as safety improvement works to parapets. One of these bridges, the Gypsy Lane footbridge, had to be replaced to make way for the cables to electrify the railway.

Whilst a new bridge is installed, a temporary solution was required. The temporary bridge had to span 23.5m across the track and provide a safe, comfortable non slip walkway during the winter months. It required a minimum loading of 5kN/sq.m and internal cladding across the bridge to protect the public from high winds. Two 4.7m tall stairs, suitable for long term public use, were to be provided each side of the track.

The HAKI Bridge System was built off site away from the track and therefore out of possession time. The simple systemised components allowed Attridge’s scaffolders to build the 23.5m bridge in 7 hours despite having never built a HAKI Bridge previously. Assisted on site by a HAKI technician, the scaffolders found it quick and intuitive to build.

The HAKI Public Access Stairs were erected by 4 men in a total of 8 hours. As the HAKI erection method is to build ahead and always behind a guard frame, building the stair in a potentially dangerous area was much safer and easier minimising risk to the scaffolders on site.

Once the stairs were built, the final step was to connect them with the bridge. During one night possession time the bridge was swiftly craned and positioned into place within 15 minutes.

Linking the bridge to the stairs was made easier with HAKI design which includes plates for the bridge to sit to and be fixed off. These plates take the load of the bridge through to the HAKI tripod leg and not directly onto the stairs creating a strong, well supported structure.

Once the final checks were completed, the structure could be opened to the public. The public access stair at a slope of 31° allows for a comfortable walk up the bridge, whilst the sturdy handrails provide strong support.

The 2m wide bridge delivers ample room for the busy walkway. Along the bridge there are 1.5m high sections to allow for the cladding, keeping the public safe and sheltered from bad weather.

This bridge will now remain in place until early 2015 when the new bridge is completed.

About HAKI
HAKI® is an international supplier of system scaffold and weather protection solutions. HAKI® temporary work-places ensure the highest standard in safety whilst increasing productivity. Its unique hook-on design makes HAKI® adaptable in even the most challenging environments.

Head quartered in Sweden, HAKI® is part of the Midway Holding Group whose shares are traded on Nasdaq OMX Stockholm AB Small Cap exchange. HAKI® has branches across the globe providing temporary access for the power generation, process, offshore and construction sectors for over 50 years.

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Christina Bolton
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