Layher Scaffolding Plays Key Role in River Bridge Maintenance
The simplicity, versatility and lightweight characteristics of Layher Ltd.’s scaffolding have been clearly demonstrated during a bridge maintenance project in Scotland. The work, which involves painting, material replacement and under deck inspection is taking place on the A9 bridge across the River Findhorn between Aviemore and Inverness.
“The use of Allround Lightweight minimises loading onto the ground,” says Kenneth Redman, Layher’s Technical Manager (Scotland). “This is particularly advantageous at this bridge location where soft ground conditions and relatively steep slopes are encountered on the river banks.”
The Layher system has been installed to provide access to the full height of three support piers and will play a key role in enabling access to the underside of the bridge deck. Significantly, the equipment requires a minimum amount of material and fewer tie points than would have been required with, for example, tube and fitting scaffold.
“Importantly, the inherent strength of Allround Lightweight has enabled cantilevered decked areas to be constructed at the top of each pier, immediately under the bridge deck,” adds Ross Brown, Director of I-Scaff Access Solutions Ltd. who have installed the structure for main contractor VolkerLaser Ltd. working for BEAR Scotland – the operating company for Transport Scotland’s NW Trunk Roads.
“This avoids the need to install scaffold to the full width to the ground which, in turn, has a beneficial impact on build time, material volumes and wind loading in the exposed location,” he adds. “The design also gained from Kenneth producing a LayPLAN SIM scheme, which enabled us to demonstrate to our client exactly what they would be getting, even before the scaffold was built.”
While access to two piers is via a scaffold built directly from the ground, the other has had to accommodate the significant slope. This has been addressed by Layher equipment being used to build a graduated support scaffold upon which a level gantry, eight bays in length, has been constructed. In both cases, access to the full height of each pier is then achieved via eight Layher staircases.
“It is vital that such work is always conducted safely, quickly and with minimum disruption and we believe our scaffold design has played a key role in each case,” concludes Sean Pike, Layher’s UK Managing Director.