Spencer Group suspension bridge project shortlisted in prestigious industry awards

Specialist engineering business Spencer Group has been shortlisted in a prestigious construction industry awards for an innovative project on one of the world’s longest suspension bridges.

Spencer’s work to dehumidify the main¬† cables on the Great Belt crossing in Denmark, using the company’s Cable Crawler system, has been nominated as one of eight projects in the Temporary Works – Civil Engineering category of the British Construction Industry Awards.

The awards are the longest-established in the UK construction industry. Spencer is shortlisted alongside some of the leading companies in the industry and some of the largest construction projects, including Crossrail – the biggest infrastructure project in Europe.

Spencer is currently delivering the world’s largest retro-fit cable dehumidification project to prevent corrosion of the main cables on the East Bridge, the third largest suspension bridge in the world and part of the giant Great Belt Crossing linking the eastern and western parts of Denmark.

Spencer Project Director Jim Mawson said: “We are delighted and honoured that our use of the Cable Crawler system for the Great Belt project has been shortlisted for such a prestigious award.

“This is deserved recognition after seven years of design, development, deployment and continuous improvement of the Cable Crawler. It recognises that this is a tried and tested, world-class solution for suspension bridge maintenance, giving our teams uninterrupted access, for the duration of the project, to every inch of the main cable, at heights of up to 250m, while not interrupting the traffic below.

“The award nomination also recognises our success in exporting this innovation to foreign markets. Two of the six projects for which we have used the Cable Crawler system have been delivered out of the UK, during a difficult time for exports and in an industry in which it is recognised it is quite challenging to export, even in good economic conditions.

“The Cable Crawler is a home-grown British engineering innovation and its advantages and benefits are now being acknowledged globally.”

Four huge Cable Crawler gantries are currently being used for the Danish project, which is being delivered for client A/S Storebaelt. Spencer has previously used the Cable Crawler system to allow high-level access for dehumidification of cables on the Forth Road Bridge in Scotland; the M48 Severn Crossing; the Humber Bridge; and Alvsborg Bridge in Gothenburg, Sweden. The innovative system was also used to replace almost 1,000 bolt assemblies on the Forth Road Bridge in 2013.

The innovative traversing system enables the negotiation of the cable infrastructure without returning the gantry to the bridge deck, thereby eliminating the need for lane closures or other traffic management measures after initial installation. This is a huge benefit for operators of structures which form a critical part of the transport and socio-economic infrastructure.

The gantries have also been designed to guarantee 100 per cent containment of personnel and tools – vital when work is being carried out hundreds of feet above the bridge deck.

The British Construction Industry Awards will be presented at a gala dinner at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on October 8 before an audience of more than 1,000 industry leaders.