• Hungerford Bridge bespoke access provision

CAN is working with Costain & Network Rail providing a bespoke access system

CAN is working with Costain & Network Rail, providing a bespoke access system to allows repairs to the piers to be carried out by Metalock.

The Hungerford Rail Bridge crosses the Thames, servicing the busy commuter hub of Charing Cross Station.  Having identified that remedial repair works were required to its piers, Network Rail looked for an innovative solution to facilitate access to this particularly difficult site location.

Devising a safe system of work was essential.  This ensured minimal disruption to the operational railway and the navigable river channel.  Furthermore, eliminating the risk of environmental damage as a result of polluting the water course.  Metalock would be carrying out stitch repairs to the cast iron casing of the piers.  It was imperative that the system would provide safe and easy access for the chosen specialist repair contractor.

Using Ring CAN-Span

Close liaison with all of the parties involved led CAN to the design, development and approval of a bespoke access and containment system which encompasses the columns of the piers – Ring CAN-Span.  The enclosed ‘habitat’ protects the workers from the elements.  In essence, the habitat performs the equally important function of capturing any arisings and thus preventing any debris entering the Thames.

Each day Costain, Metalock and CAN technicians are transferred by safety boat to the barge from Temple Pier.  Meanwhile. the Metalock workers are then winched up from the barge to the Ring CAN-Span.  This is done using a powered ascender system or by stepping onto the Ring CAN-Span, if it is water level with any vertical ascent being by the Span winching system itself.

Metalock are working under the safety supervision of the CAN access and rescue teams.  The Ring CAN-Span and all tools and airline feeds for the works are transported and rigged from the bridge soffit.  It takes a team of 6 CAN technicians to complete these works.  One CAN technician was placed in each of the 4 Spans providing rescue cover and general assistance with the repair works.  2 CAN technicians assisted with access and egress from the Spans and assembled the next Ring CAN-Span to be installed.

The collaborative relationship between Network Rail, Costain, CAN and Metalock has paid dividends, with the CAN-Span assembled on the barge deck, hoisting into position and repairs started without a hitch.  Site works are running to plan having commenced on the 2nd February.  They are due to complete on the 31st March 2015 as planned.