Layher’s FlexBeam system has been utilised on a major maintenance scheme on the iconic Forth Road Bridge.

The project was to remove, repair, and re-fit inspection walkways under the bridge in 120m sections at a time. A temporary fully suspended scaffold deck was required to allow main client Millar Callaghan’s steelworkers to work from.

Broxburn-based Hard Rock Scaffolding opted to use FlexBeam, an aluminium box section with suspension accessories to create the underdeck work platform. This particular use of the FlexBeam and structure Hard Rock built was the ‘largest of its kind’ to date.

The scaffold had to be carefully thought out, designed, and Cat 111 checked to establish there was no excessive loading being placed in any individual area.

All the Layher scaffold materials had to be delivered to the workface via cycle paths and hand balled into location, so it was designed and engineered with this in mind. The bridge also had to remain open and accessible throughout the work.

‘Numerous’ challenges had to be overcome within the survey and design of the scaffold. Hard Rock, Millar Callaghan, and netting contractor Equinox also had to find the most efficient way of working together to access the works, install the netting, scaffold and steelwork, and remove the same on completion – all within a very condensed programme where overlap of contractors is ‘critical’ to achieve success.

All the hangers were spaced out exactly to the Hard Rock scheme drawings and the working area provided to Millar Callaghan for the steelwork refurbishment was said to be ‘excellent’. All potential clashes that could have occurred for the steelwork activities were surveyed and designed to ensure no time-consuming conflicts cropped up, which would have had a detrimental effect on the contractors.

Layher added that the walk-through areas created were ‘clear, gap-free and provided ample amounts of space’ for the works to take place. Sean Pike concluded, ‘this is a prestigious project which we have proudly been involved with, in the background on a technical and logistical basis in support of our client and theirs at a strategic level’.

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Scaffolding should always be erected by trained and qualified operatives following approved procedures. For technical advice and design support contact Layher Technical Department on 01462 475100.