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Braintree Freeport Footbridge

Braintree Freeport Footbridge

Charter Way, Braintree, Essex, CM77 8YH

Value: £1,060,000
Duration: 36 Weeks
Contract: NEC3 Option A

The works involved the construction and installation of a footbridge with DDA, pedestrian and cycle access. The bridge is located south of Braintree Freeport Station and was constructed in order to provide a link from the Heathlands residential area to the west of the railway line with Braintree Freeport Station and the retail and leisure complex to the east. The works included a stepped pedestrian access to the south end of the station platform to link with the footbridge works.

The works involved the design, fabrication and installation of a 43m span warren truss bridge, spanning a 2 line track at the country end of the station platforms with piled bank seat foundations located at the top of either side of the existing railway embankments. The bridge was installed during a 12 hour possession and lifted into place using a 1300t crane which was required to be assembled on site and located approximately 50 metres form where the bridge was placed.

We undertook £250,000 of extra works that needed to be delivered before Christmas 2012, constructing a large concrete ramp in a particularly small and challenging area. This element of the works required a tower crane for the duration.

The contract duration ended up with an additional four weeks. Within this time we undertook a further £250,000 worth of additional works. The installation date of the bridge never changed from when it was originally programmed on contract award and we ensured that we met and dealt with all challenges arising, ensuring that the bridge installation would go in as planned as this was a critical date determined by possession availability.

The contract was awarded as a complete design excluding the piling element. We had the opportunity to undertake additional work items such as enhancing the neighbouring properties privacy levels as a result of the bridge impeding windows. This was not apparent until installation and as a result, we came up with the design of a visually pleasing screening wall.

We upgraded the size of the crane to a 1300t Liebherr. This is one of the biggest cranes in the country. By using this it enabled us to be able to site the crane further away from the bridge installation location. A number of trees therefore were not required to be removed and the crane pad was sited within a large car park instead of an established wildlife area, thus reducing remedial works and local environmental impact.

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