Granite and Gears A38 Bridge
These works included the design, fabrication and installation of a 43m span steel equestrian/ cycle bridge over the A38 dual carriageway, with a further 180m of steel ramps which will ultimately connect to future sections of the cyclepath. The new bridge forms part of the wider Granite and Gears cycleway which runs from the heart of Dartmoor to South Devon. The route links Bovey Tracey to Jetty Marsh Road in Newton Abbot, crossing over the A38 at Heathfield and running alongside the Stover Canal.
As an NEC3, Option A Design and Build contract, we collaborated with the best expertise available, appointing and managing a team of experienced suppliers and consultants. Jubb Consulting Ltd undertook the foundation and earthworks designs, also producing the overall scheme Approval in Principle. Nusteel Fabrications were employed to design, fabricate and install the structural steel elements. Specialist ecology consultants were appointed to develop the scheme Construction Environmental Management Plan and to provide attendances and advice as necessary due to the sensitive location. We also contracted an independent NEC inspector to ensure full on-site compliance with the contract specification.
As part of the design development, the length of one of the ramp sections was increased to eliminate the need for the construction of a reinforced earth embankment. This change not only provided a time saving, but reduced plant movements and avoided the disposal of approximately 400m3 of unsuitable excavated material to landfill. Minor adjustments were also made to the shapes of corners within the ramps to provide improved rideability and a more pleasing aesthetic.
For the installation of the bridge span and ramp sections, it was necessary to apply five complete overnight closures of the A38 with the bridge being lifted in by a 500 tonne mobile crane. SWH’s own traffic management division applied the road closures and established and maintained the diversion routes.
Works completed at the end of June 2015 with the bridge opened for public use early in July. A community celebration was held on Saturday 18 July to mark the opening of the new bridge over the A38 at Heathfield and the Stover Way multi-use trail.