Bridges & Structures

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Poole Twin Sails Bridge

Client: Borough of Poole

Designer / Architects: Ramboll

Form of Contract: NEC Option C

Dates work carried out: 2010 - 2012

Value: £21,600,000

HOCHTIEF (UK) Construction Ltd completed and handed over to the Client on programme and to budget the iconic £21.6 million Twin Sails Bridge in early 2012.

The bridge is part of an initiative by Poole Borough Council to regenerate the area including new homes, employment opportunities and public open space that together will lever in significant investment. It will provide critical infrastructure for 26 hectares of brownfield land and unlock one of the largest regeneration sites in the South West. Over the next 10 years, this project is expected to deliver 2,000 homes, and create up to 5,000 jobs.

The Twin Sails Bridge is the world’s first triangular-leaf lifting bridge and an achievement highlighting modern engineering design and construction. The twin sail-like structures forming the lifting leaves weigh 65 tonnes each, and are illuminated at night – forming what will be an attraction bringing people to the area. Designed by the team responsible for creating the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, Ramboll (formally Gifford) and Wilkinson Eyre, work commenced in June 2010 following a strongly fought competitive bidding process between major National and International organisations. HOCHTIEF with a reputation in the UK for an innovative and client-focused approach in the successful delivery of challenging structures, were supported by their Civil Engineering and Marine division based in the Port of Hamburg - with their experience in the successful delivery of numerous challenging lifting bridges throughout Europe.

Jim Bright, Strategic Director for Borough of Poole and project sponsor, said:
“Now the bridge is complete, it would be easy to forget the remarkable challenge tackled by the architects, our contractors and the council to deliver a world-class piece of engineering.

However, the Twin Sails Bridge is not just a triumph of engineering, it’s a beautiful structure. Anyone who drives, cycles or walks across the bridge will see the craft and attention to detail which has gone into its construction.”

HOCHTIEF drew upon their domestic supply chain with whom they have worked successfully before, including Cleveland Bridge for the structural steelwork and Mammoet for their expertise in heavy lifting.

HOCHTIEF also held a ‘Meet the Contractor’ day, where local businesses were invited to view in detail certain elements of the work that were open for subcontractor engagement. The event delivered a number of local businesses that were subcontracted on the project.

The Bridge consists of 41 sections of steel, some weighing up to 200 tonnes. These elements were delivered and assembled on site prior to floating into position using a combination of tidal power and heavy lift plant. Hydraulics necessary to ensure the ultimate efficient and reliable functioning of the lifting bridge sections were designed and installed by one of Europe’s leading manufacturers Hunger Hydraulik of Germany.