As part of the £1 billion Airport City project in Manchester, a bridge for pedestrians and cyclists was installed over the nearby motorway. The design included tapered precast bridge piers and a demanding installation schedule. The customer turned to Peikko to make it happen.
Building good transport connections
BCEGi has been an equity and construction partner in the Airport City project at Manchester Airport in the UK since 2013. Altogether, the project covers an area of approximately 5 million sq ft/464 500 m2 and the Airport City Bridge is an important part of this development, providing an essential link between the airport and the public transport interchange, and the hotel district.
BCEGi was also responsible for installing the bridge and, because this crossed a busy motorway, the one-piece central span had to be installed over night while the motorway was temporarily closed. This meant that all the supporting precast piers had to be ready ahead of schedule.
Custom made column shoes
The tapered shape of the precast bridge piers also presented challenges because this made it impossible to use standard products without compromising other design requirements. RoC Consulting, who designed the bridge and supporting piers, contacted Peikko to find a solution to speed up the installation. Bolted column connections proved the ideal choice for fast construction and reliable installation.
“It was inspiring to see how hard we always work to try and find a working solution for our client.”
Due to the unique nature of the project, Peikko decided that specially made PEC® column shoes and assemblies were the best option. This meant that each individual column shoe had its own design, with vertical rebar bent and rotated at different angles to avoid structural clashes. Peikko also delivered some of the PEC® column shoes on common base plate assemblies that weighed up to 550 kg.
Despite these challenges, Peikko delivered the special PEC® column shoes, welded assemblies and anchor bolts on time. The enabled the construction company to install the piers quickly without the need for any temporary props or supports. As planned, all the piers were installed ahead of schedule.
When the big day came for the central section of the bridge to be installed, the whole process took place over night in less than 12 hours, and the span fitted perfectly onto the precast piers.
The successful outcome was thanks to good communication and cooperation between Peikko UK, the main engineers, main contractor and the precaster. A key part of the success was also down to excellent support from the Peikko team in Finland. This enabled all the connections and details to be finalised to ensure dependable bolted column connections.
- Developer: Airport City Manchester
- Construction Company: BCEGi
- Structural Designer: RoC Consulting
- Architect: 5plus Architects
- Precaster: ABM Precast Solutions
- Delivery year: 2020
- Completion year: 2020
Team Leader - Structural Engineering
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