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Haki Bridge: Ipswich

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The saying is that necessity is the mother of invention and in the case of UK System Scaffold Hire’s latest collaboration - with Ideal Scaffolding of Norwich - that is certainly true.

Having helped pioneer the use of the Haki Bridge System on rail projects, the latest challenge, to provide a temporary footbridge to carry passengers over the rail tracks at Westerfield Train Station near Ipswich during major barrier and track upgrades, has resulted in two more impressive innovations by the Derbyshire company.

UKSSH has demonstrated how the speed of erection and the remarkably light weight of the Haki Bridge System makes it ideal to build outside possession time and then crane in to place in just a couple of hours.

However, at Westerfield the required location for the bridge made the deployment of a mobile crane impossible, yet the requirement was to erect a 22.5 metre footbridge in the course of a Bank Holiday weekend possession.

UKSSH’s innovative solution was to combine the benefits of the Haki Bridge System with another of Haki Scaffold System’s major benefits - the products suitability to very quickly build birdcages with large open grid sizes that require many fewer components than tube and fittings.

Having devised the method, UKSSH invited Ideal’s scaffolders to their Chesterfield HQ to undertake pre-project training and a trial erection to demonstrate that the project could be completed within the possession time.

Firstly, Haki Public Access Staircases were built – out of possession time – on each side of the track. Then, in just a 24 hour possession time the team from Ideal Scaffolding built a 22 metre long by 6 metre tall birdcage which was used as the working platform from which to build the footbridge, which was  22.5 metres long, 1.65 metres wide and designed to provide an imposed loading of 5Nsq.m. The birdcage was then removed to provide free passage for trains with a 4.5 metre safety zone on each side of the track.

When the project was completed, the remarkably light weight of the 22.5 metre bridge meant that a Network Rail approved rail mounted crane could be deployed to lift the bridge out of position, enabling the bridge and PAS to be dismantled and cleared within a single track possession..

The project demonstrated the versatility and many advantages of the Haki Bridge System and has shown that there are viable alternatives to the not inconsiderable expense of using mobile cranes.

Mark Jones, MD of Ideal Scaffolding, explains that he knew that the Haki Bridge System was the answer – but also knew that the peace of mind of having Haki experts onside and on site was also critical. 

“UKSSH’s partnership on the project was invaluable: 

-   Because they are so familiar with the Haki Bridge System they contributed to the design and approval process -  liaising with Purbeck Design to develop the most effective design for the project.

-  Pre-erection training for our scaffolders meant that once on site we hit the floor running.

-  Since this was the first time that we had used the Haki Bridge System, working with UKSSH enabled us to test     the product on a live project without the need to purchase the equipment in advance.

-  And, of course, UKSSH provided superb on-going site support.

“Ideal Scaffolding has an excellent track record, we’ve worked on prestigious projects for more than 30 years and have some of the best scaffolders in the country – but you are never too old to learn and UKSSH became part of the team – working with us all the way”. 


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