A 360 tonne bridge has been lifted into place as part of construction of a roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) facility for the new port terminal, Tilbury2, at the Port of Tilbury.
The approach bridge is the first of three components to be installed over the next few months by GRAHAM in order to build the ro-ro facility.
Peter Ward, commercial director at the Port of Tilbury, said: “This is another important milestone in the creation of our new port Tilbury2.
“GRAHAM’s team successfully completed the link span fixed bridge installation and we look forward to seeing the bridge opened early next year.”
In a process that took 24 hours, the steel bridge was towed 135 nautical miles by the HAPO pontoon H-332 and a supporting tug from Rotterdam to the Tilbury2 site before it was lifted into place.
Following closely behind in convoy was the MATADOR 3 seagoing floating sheerleg crane with a lifting capacity of 1,800 tonnes.
Paul Scott, contracts director for GRAHAM, said: “We have hit another milestone on this major project with the arrival and installation of the approach bridge.
“It was a real team effort from the loading out at Ravestein’s BV yard through to the installation.”
Chosen for its strength and durability in the marine environment, the approach bridge measures 54 m x 15 m x 5 m.
It is positioned from abutments on both the landside of the flood defence and on the foreshore.
The Tilbury2 project consists of the construction of a new port terminal and associated facilities on land at the former Tilbury Power Station on the north bank of the River Thames at Tilbury.
Set to become operational in spring 2020, the facility will be the UK’s largest unaccompanied freight ferry port and the country’s biggest construction processing hub.
The project will also see the creation of a new significantly larger rail head which can accommodate the longest freight trains of 775 m.
Tilbury2 is central to the Port of Tilbury’s £1bn (US$1.3bn) investment programme during 2012-2020 which has seen it double the size of its business in the past 10 years.
The facility is projected to double the volume of cargo across the quay from 16m to 32m tonnes and increase direct employment from 3,500 to 12,000 jobs over the next 10-15 years.