VolkerHighways and VolkerFitzpatrick have replaced an expired pedestrian footbridge over the London Victoria to Ramsgate railway cutting, at Gillingham, Kent
VolkerHighways and VolkerFitzpatrick replaced the footbridge as part of VolkerHighways’ highways infrastructure framework with Medway Council.
The original footbridge, which was 31.1m long, 1.9m wide and weighed 23tonnes, was located on the west side of Gillingham train station, spanning the eight-metre deep railway cutting between Chatham and Gillingham train stations.
Preparation works for the project began in early 2020, with VolkerHighways working in conjunction with Medway Council, VolkerFitzpatrick and additional bridge specialists, to ensure the works were completed to a high standard, on time and within budget.
VolkerHighways was also involved in the planning, design and fabrication of the bridge, as well as surveys, bridge inspections and the installation of electrical feeder pillars and duct work.
Works to remove the footbridge started in early April, with VolkerFitzpatrick constructing the new in-situ reinforced concrete foundations, which were located at the rear of the existing bridge foundation supports and constructed during normal daytime working, outside of the Network Rail boundary.
The new bridge is supported on the new reinforced concrete foundations.
Once the new bridge was installed, VolkerHighways reinstated the footway paving, street lighting columns and street furniture and handed back the site to Medway Council for opening to the public.
Significant cost savings
The project was completed a week ahead of the original programme, with significant cost savings and minimal disruption to the local residents and businesses.
Mark Taylor, VolkerFitzpatrick’s contracts manager, said: “This was a very well planned and executed footbridge replacement, involving multiple contractors, that all worked in true collaboration.
“The health and safety management has been a credit to all those on site, with everyone embracing our behavioural safety programme, Network Rail’s lifesaving rules and other Southern Shield initiatives, to ensure we send everyone home safe at the end of each shift.”
Sohail Hussain, VolkerHighways’ project manager, said: “Communication and coordination between both VolkerHighways and VolkerFitzpatrick was excellent, showcasing the benefits of working collaboratively across VolkerWessels UK, evidenced by the bridge opening a week ahead of schedule.”