Fabricating the Northumberland Steel Footbridge for Morgan Sindall Infrastructure

Taziker is currently fabricating the Northumberland Steel Footbridge on behalf of our client Morgan Sindall Infrastructure. The footbridge, which is being fabricated at our specialist facility in Blackburn, forms part of the Northumberland Line project. The project, which is a partnership between Northumberland County Council and Network Rail, looks to stimulate economic growth with improved transport links in the area.

We spoke to Project Manager Llinos Tarbuck, to find out how the project is progressing so far…

  1. Talk us through the work Taziker is doing on the Northumberland Steel Footbridge project?

"Taziker is fabricating and installing the 50m span cycle bridge, which will be located over the A189, near a new train station in Bebside. As well as the fabrication of the bridge, we have worked to supply and fit the bridge bearings. Installation will take place over a weekend road closure in the winter, with the bridge being installed in one 52 tonne lift - one I'm excited to see progress."

  1. How was Taziker involved in the design process?

"We were involved early in the design process to advise, where possible, on fabrication and installation aspects. This early involvement altered the design from a fully welded structure to a bolted structure. The change in design has several benefits, the main being that as a bolted structure, once the bridge has been painted, it can be transported straight from the painters to the final lifting location on a just-in-time basis. Reducing the need for extra work on site, the bridge then can be bolted together in around eight hours during the weekend road closure.

"Working closely with designers and the client ensures a great collaborative relationship from the start, which benefits everyone involved."

  1. How is the project progressing?

"Currently, the bridge is in fabrication at Blackburn before it goes on to be painted with anti-skid coatings applied over the deck.

"Recently, we were able to see the new 40T cranes being put to good use too! Having the ability within our Blackburn facility to turn the bridge with ease has enabled us to gain better access to the welds on the underside. There’s plenty of space in the shop for a full trial erection of both the bridge and its hand railings - it’s fantastic to have all these facilities in-house."

  1. What challenges have there been so far?

"The bridge is both tall and wide, making transportation without the need for a Special Movement Order a challenge. However, we’ve worked closely with our transportation specialists to find the right trailer set up, enabling the rigid length to stay under the requirements for a Special Movement Order, saving the need for a 12-week notice period on movement."

  1. This is also your first Taziker project! How has the experience been?

"I’m really enjoying my first project with Taziker. I’ve learned so much about fabricating steel and I get to delve into a level of detail on this project that I haven’t had the chance to do previously. It has been a great change of pace for me personally, and I can’t wait to see it installed."