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News from the UK Civils Industry 19th June 2019

Posted by: Melonie Debenham
Industry News

£2.5 million road & bridge safety scheme gets underway near Doncaster 

A £2.5m Highways England scheme got underway this week, designed to improve safety for drivers on the M180.

The River Trent bridge, which sits between junctions two and three of the M180, will have its expansion joint replaced across both carriageways. Expansion joints help bridges move under the stresses and strains of traffic and during changes in temperature.

The current 30 metre long joint requires regular repair work, which can disrupt journeys.

Waterproofing, which protects the concrete from slowly being damaged by rainwater and road salt, will also be carried out during the six-month project, reducing the need for future roadworks in the area.

Highways England project manager Sujad Hussain said: “This scheme will improve safety for everyone on this major route, which connects traffic from the M62 to Scunthorpe and the oil refineries and ports at Immingham. The bridge will be more robust and enjoy a longer lifespan, reducing the risk of future repairs, congestion and road closures.”

The road will remain open to traffic in both directions as a contraflow will be in operation, where both east and westbound traffic will travel on the same side of the carriageway. This reduces the need for further full closures and minimises disruption to drivers and residents.

Solar panels will be used to charge the batteries for the on-site team’s offices and canteen, reducing fuel consumption by approximately 60% and improving air quality. By using battery power instead of diesel, there will also be less noise and air pollution. Full story.

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New container handling equipment for two of Britain's major ports 

Forth Ports, which operates eight ports round the UK, has continued investing in its network with a multi-million pound order for eleven new Kalmar straddle carriers to upgrade and expand its container handling abilities.

London Container Terminal (LCT) took delivery of six of the new Finnish box movers this week and Grangemouth will receive five new machines in early 2020.

In London, three of the six new straddles are part of LCT’s equipment replacement programme, with the other three going into service to meet the increase in container business at the terminal. The current fleet at the terminal is now 36 straddles.

In Grangemouth the purchase of the five new straddles is part of a major investment programme to increase its capacity for storing both conventional containers and reefers. The new straddle carriers will replace five of the existing fleet of 16 and commence the transition to four high straddles from the current three high straddles.

The port also welcomed a new Liebherr ship to shore container crane last year which is already delivering faster turnaround times. Grangemouth handles some of Scotland’s most valuable exports, such as fine foods and drinks, with more than £6 billion worth of goods passing through the port each year including steel plate, timber, paper and equipment for the oil and gas industry. 

Stuart Wallace, Chief Operating Officer at Forth Ports said: “We are investing across the group and with these 11 new Kalmar straddles for our busy container terminals in London and Grangemouth, we secure their position as key shipping and distribution locations offering some of the most efficient landside operations in the industry.” Full story.

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