Providing Access at St Bees

Working with and on behalf of BAM Nuttall, Eve were engaged by the company to assist on a rather unusual job that they were carrying out on behalf of Network Rail.

Customer Name

BAM Nuttall (on behalf of Network Rail)

Project Location

St Bees

Products Used

K Trakpanel

The project involved the transportation of a 31 tonne, pre-cast, reinforced concrete bridge deck over almost a mile of the picturesque St Bees beach in Cumbria in order to replace the existing single line bridge.

The area is fairly remote and the railway runs through the dunes beside the beach. Access to the site was limited, with the only road being a narrow access lane leading to a cluster of houses and not suitable for the transportation of the bridge. There were also several environmental considerations to take into account, including the SSSI listed cliffs and protected species inhabiting the area.

The installation of the bridge took place in late February 2013 and was part of a £1.7m package of six deck replacements. The day of transport was chosen because it offered the smallest tidal range; eight hours were allowed to transport the unit over some difficult terrain. The best route across the beach was chosen on the day as recent changes in the weather had altered the condition of the beach; ranging poles were used to mark out the route.

It was not possible to shut down the beach whilst transport was in progress so measures were put into place to ensure that the public were kept away from the route at all times. Additionally, the RNLI required uninterrupted access to the slipway to allow them to respond to call outs. To allow them to maintain their response times, critical access hours were agreed.

Eve was chosen to assist BAM Nuttall because of their specialist experience in providing access systems in unusual and generally inaccessible locations. The bridge deck was loaded onto a transporter for its journey across the beach with Eve’s heavy duty K panel aluminium roadway used to create a successful access system that would help distribute the load more efficiently on the sand. The panels were leapfrogged in front of the transporter twelve at a time enabling it to run down the beach without running the risk of getting bogged down. The panels were laid in front by one excavator whilst another picked up the panels behind where they were stockpiled on a forklift, transferred to a tractor and trailer and returned to the first excavator.

On part of the route, passage was required through a boulder field to avoid low water levels. A temporary bridge was constructed over the boulders using the panels, with pipes placed underneath to ensure that the water flow was not disrupted.

Eve’s specialist project management team assisted in co-ordinating the installation to ensure continuous movement along the panels. Bringing our problem solving skills to the fore, the collaborative approach we took with all involved ensured the right solution was installed.

Right on time, the bridge finally left the beach late in the afternoon, ready to be installed in its new position.

The K trakpanel is particularly suited to rail work as it is quick and easy to install, providing rapid and safe access for crews and vehicles alike. It is robust and can provide access to remote and otherwise unreachable areas.

“Planning was key. We planned for every failure, the small things as well as the big things. Because of this, in planning for success by planning against failure, we did succeed.”

Richard Atkins, Project Manager, BAM Nuttall

“The tight timeframe with the tides certainly proved a challenge but our collaborative approach and rapid installation method significantly contributed to the overall success of this project.”

Simon Messenger, Operations Director, Eve

Related Products

K Trakpanel

Live's K Trakpanel is a temporary roadway system, suitable for heavy duty vehicle access.

Download as PDF