The Challenge and Solutions
The team had to navigate the challenges of waterside working in the heart of London as well as the needs and nuances of each structure, a considerable undertaking in terms of logistics, planning and resources.
To counteract the busy London bridges, most of the work was carried out at night to minimise disruption, plus limited space on the bridges meant that, each night, all working materials were moved back to the depot in Mandela Way, Bermondsey.
The Thames was also a challenge, but provided opportunities for the team, who used the river to transport materials and equipment to the bridges, lifting them up from the boat decks using winches.
Furthermore, meticulous planning was key to the scheme’s success. We had to build strong relationships with the Port of London Authority (PLA), Network Rail, the Thames Tideway Tunnel scheme and the many businesses and institutions who rely on these river crossings.
The team also invented a new containment system to access the underside of Cannon Street Railway bridge, whilst also ensuring they kept to a high standard of health and safety practices.
Adam Barnes, Senior Contract Manager at FM Conways, explains:
“Meeting the highest health and safety standards was paramount, not only for our team, but for river traffic too. Every piece of equipment and material was triple-clipped to its operator, the structure and a safety line. We also had safety boats in place below the structures and devised special containment systems in line with PLA bylaws – including hanging a bale of hay from Millennium Bridge so that boats were aware of headroom restrictions.”
FM Conway has drawn together expertise from across the business, capitalising on the company’s experience of delivering major infrastructure projects in London.
Ed Barford, Head of Structures at FM Conway, said:
“The project brings together our expertise in lighting and structures to help deliver a unique piece of artwork for the capital. The bridges across the River Thames are integral to how Londoners and tourists alike identify with, and travel through, the city.”
Adam added: “It pushed us in unexpected ways, taking the best of what we can do in construction and engineering to deliver an inspiring piece of art for London.”