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Home » Hull Bridge Engineers Provide Inspection Solution That Could Go Global

Hull Bridge Engineers Provide Inspection Solution That Could Go Global

Hull-based bridge works specialist Spencer Group is delivering on a prestigious project in Canada, with the potential to replicate a solution globally.

The engineering firm has been appointed to create a bespoke access system to inspect vital infrastructure on a new crossing in British Columbia. The Pattullo Bridge, a key connection between the municipalities of Surrey and New Westminster originally opened in 1937, spanning the Fraser River. A replacement is set to open next year.

Working on behalf of Fraser Crossing Constructors GP, Spencer is designing, manufacturing, testing and commissioning an access system to enable maintenance engineers to inspect all elements of the bridge’s stay cables – used to hold the structure in place.

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The cradle, which transports personnel to the desired inspection location, operates like a cable car, moving up and down a track rope on the four lane bridge. It will be electrically hoisted up and down the main track rope throughout the lifespan.

Gordon Neilson, principal engineer at Spencer Group, and a leading industry expert, is behind the design, which is set to complete this summer. Manufacturing and testing will take place in the UK before the whole access system is shipped across the Atlantic, where it will again be tested and then commissioned.

The cradle design shown at the bridge peak and on the road level. (Image: Spencer Group) Steven Bunting, project director, said: “We’re delighted to be able to draw on our industry-

leading expertise to complete this project, supporting Fraser Crossing Constructors GP.

“We’re also really pleased that our excellent track record of addressing unique challenges in the bridges sector and our engineering skills are being recognised and called upon internationally.

“Our unique design on this project will be transferable to other cable stay bridges all over the world. It addresses challenges faced with the need to carry out tactile inspections of cables from a dedicated work platform, at difficult to reach locations at significant elevations.”

Recent completion: Union Chain Bridge. Spencer Group has carried out maintenance and repair works on some of the UK’s most iconic bridges, including major refurbishment work on the Menai Suspension Bridge, which crosses the Menai Strait between the island of Anglesey and mainland North Wales, ahead of the structure’s 200th anniversary year in 2026.

Praise for the “incredible restoration” of the Grade I listed Union Chain Bridge linking England and Scotland crossing over the River Tweed from Horncliffe in Northumberland to Fishwick in Berwickshire was also recently received.

It comes as the company carries out major restoration work on the historic Corporation Road Bridge in Grimsby.

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