GGR Group, the UK’s leading provider of lifting solutions, has provided critical support to London’s Thames Tideway project, the most comprehensive upgrade work ever undertaken by the UK water industry, resulting in significantly enhanced cost and time efficiencies.
The development, which is being spearheaded by Tideway, comprises significant improvements to London’s sewer network, which has remained largely untouched since it was first designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette in the 19th Century. Initially designed for a city of 4 million, the explosion in London’s population (now more than 9 million) has resulted in the system being frequently overloaded, discharging millions of tonnes of raw sewage into the Thames.
To ease the burden on the network, Thames Centrals Contractors are overseeing the construction of a 25km long tunnel that will intercept any overspills and transport the sewage directly to a treatment facility in Beckton. Due to the sheer scale and complexity of the work, the project has been divided into three segments – Tideway West, Tideway Central and Tideway East – each of which are being delivered by a joint venture of different contractors.
Work for the Tideway Central portion of the project is being overseen by a team of experts from Ferrovial Construction UK and Laing O’Rourke, who need highly reliable access to a complex working environment. Historically in projects such as Tideway, which comprise a significant amount of subterranean work, stair towers are used to grant access to the shaft. However, in Tideway’s instance, these were quickly dismissed as too large and inefficient, with the depth of the project meaning traversing the shaft would have had added a significant amount of time to each working day.
Looking to identify a solution and operator that could safely deliver people in and out of the shaft, without compromising the operational capabilities of the main crane, David Kay, Construction Manager FLO JV for Tideway Central, soon turned to GGR Group.
David explains: “The Tideway development is a project unrivalled in its scope and scale and one we are delighted to be working on. However, access to the main shaft required a significant amount of thought to ensure contractors could be delivered safely and in a time-efficient manner.
“After careful consideration from our technical team, we realised that there was no better choice than GGR’s MCC1004 mini-crawler crane.”
Compact and user-friendly, the MCC1004 delivers a mighty lifting power of up to 10 tonnes, with an associated lifting height of up to 25.1m (26.2m with fly jib). With a 2800mm wide bass, the solid tracks of the MC1004 makes it the perfect solution for travelling over uneven and rough terrain – such as can be found at the Tideway Central development.
David continues: “The MCC1004 has had a demonstrable, positive impact on the works at Tideway Central. To ensure the solution was implemented as quickly and effectively as possible, GGR provided us with a contract lift solution, meaning they supply their own kit and specially trained operators to help fulfil the job, meaning we don’t have to shell out on our own equipment and train an operator up. Ultimately this approach has enabled us to make significant time and cost savings.
“Using the crawler crane, we have been able to supply a safe, yet efficient, means of granting access to the shaft, significantly reducing journey time by as much as 20 minutes per contractor. Alongside the MC1004, GGR also supplied its LIBRO 800 counterbalancer, which has enabled us to store our shutters on site rather than arranging delivery of them every time they are needed. Again, this has really helped shore-up efficiencies on site and allowed us to make savings in both cost and carbon emissions by reducing deliveries to site.
“All in all, GGR have been a fantastic supplier to work with. Their solutions have been on site for just over a year, with an estimated 12 months still to go. In that time, their friendly, honest and open service has really made the difference. Whomever I speak to in the team is always keen to help and make sure things are dealt with effectively.”
The Tideway project is scheduled for completion in 2025.
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