Yorkshire Firm’s Anchors Hold Up Key Bridge in Engineering Marvel

The new 'Herring Bridge', a twin bascule bridge over the River Yare in Great Yarmouth, which utilised LIEBIG Ultraplus heavy duty anchors from EJOT UK in the construction process.

The Sherburn-in-Elmet based subsidiary of global fastening systems giant EJOT Group has supplied critically important products for the construction of a new £121m bridge which opened this month Great Yarmouth.

EJOT UK was tasked with producing a series of heavy duty concrete anchors which hold the bridge’s lifting, holding and lowering machinery in place. This involved manufacturing the world’s largest ever mechanical anchors of their kind, the largest of which were 1.45m metres in length. These were installed deep into the concrete that houses the bridge’s machinery at either side of the River Yare.

Named the Herring Bridge to reflect the heritage of Great Yarmouth’s fishing industry, the project was a trans-Atlantic exercise. It involved New York based architects Hardesty & Hannover, who are renowned around the world for their civil engineering excellence, and main contractor BAM Farrans, a joint venture between construction industry leaders BAM Nuttall and Farrans Construction..

But whilst the design of the bridge was undertaken in the US, it was Barnsley engineers Qualter Hall who designed, manufactured and installed the operating package, aided on the concrete anchoring by fellow Yorkshire firm EJOT.

This project involved extensive design support from EJOT at an early stage to demonstrate that its proposed anchoring solution developed around LIEBIG Ultraplus anchors would meet the very high, safety critical performance required.

Once the design was approved, assembly of the anchors could commence at EJOT’s Sherburn-in-Elmet factory, where 90 people are employed. A dedicated team were able to modify bespoke anchors in a matter of days in order to respond to the constant updates to BAM Farrans’ project timeline.

Paul Papworth, EJOT UK’s anchoring specialist said: “It is fantastic to see this bridge completed and fully open after working with the designers, engineers and main contractor BAM Farrans for around three years. Yorkshire’s engineering heritage is renowned around the world, so it is particularly pleasing to be helping to continue that tradition by providing products for this latest bridge project.”

“The bridge is a feat of engineering given that twin bascule bridges of this kind are relatively rare in the UK, with each leaf weighing an estimated 192 tonnes. And the machinery used to operate the bridge is also so powerful that it is can open and close within 90 seconds, and it can do this more than twenty times every day.”

The twin ‘bascule’ bridge carries the busy A47 dual-carriageway to provide easier access to the Great Yarmouth’s docks, and it is expected to be an important catalyst for growth in the region’s economy.

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