The two old bridges—located in Davensham, Cheshire—had to be replaced because of the condition of their decks. In order for the engineering works to be carried out, the railway line was closed for six days.

Murphy prepared the disused line and existing structures before Ainscough arrived, so that the team could get to work straight away on lifting the steel sections out of place.

The project presented numerous challenges to the Ainscough team, largely due to the inclement weather conditions and the safety risk to nearby public access ways.

Working over a period of four days, two lift teams consisting of five members (lift supervisors, crane operators, slingers/signallers) from Ainscough’s Leyland depot took delivery of the bridges on site, before lifting them into place.

The bridge decks weighed 90t and 34t and were 17m and 7m long. For the lift, Aisncough used its Demag CC2800-1 crawler crane with a 72m SSL main boom and 300t of tray ballast. The total counterweight used was 540t, which was rigged three days prior to the lift taking place using a Liebherr LTM1100-5.2. Sixteen steel mats were also put in place to spread the track loads and ensure a stable base for the lift.

The replacement bridges are now fully updated to the current design standards and will be used to transport rail passengers and freight traffic through the Northwich Junction, over the Trent and Mersey canal and Whatcroft Hall Lane.