The Mitchell Bridges CB12 rescues Local Authority highway when culvert fails

October 3, 2023

Managing highway infrastructure is a significant responsibility for local authorities. When these infrastructures fail, the impact on the local community can be substantial.

It is imperative that plans and systems are in place to respond swiftly, minimise the overall impact, and ensure a safe resolution. In a recent case where a culvert failed for a long-standing client at a local authority, Mitchell Bridges stepped in by offering their proprietary vehicle bridge product. This solution was planned, prepared, transported, and installed within just four days, enabling their client to get up and running again.

Challenges Faced by Local Authorities

Maintaining and replacing existing highway infrastructure presents amajor challenge for local authorities. The costs of ongoing work on degrading infrastructure are substantial and are expected to rise as the UK's highway network ages. Additionally, the introduction of electric vehicles has led to increased vehicle weights, exacerbating the strain on the infrastructure. Although sudden infrastructure failure is rare, its impact on local communities and commuters is significant. Therefore, local authorities must have robust plans in place to address sudden failures, and temporary bridges play a crucial role in restoring traffic flow.

When a culvert suddenly failed, an existing local authority customer contacted Mitchell Bridges for potential solutions. Given the safety concerns, the road had to be closed. Mitchell Bridges promptly visited the site to assess the situation, discuss options, and formulate an action plan. Leveraging their prefabricated vehicle bridge stock, Mitchell Bridges was able to provide a bridge that spanned the failed culvert, reopening the highway to the public. Their unique proprietary vehicle bridges and available stock enabled them to offer a solution within a short timeframe, with three days dedicated to preparing, organising transport, and installing the bridge.

Addressing the challenges with ageing infrastructure

The UK's highway network is aging and needs to adapt to modern challenges, extreme weather, and technological advancements. In cases where the infrastructure hasn't adapted or has surpassed its design life, substantial maintenance and eventual replacement are required. In the specific project discussed, the cause of the failure was unknown, and time was needed to design a replacement culvert and repair the road surface. The introduction of a temporary vehicle bridge served several critical purposes, including allowing the road to reopen, providing time fornew culvert design, and facilitating negotiations for the best design and price.

Mitchell Bridges: A tried and trusted solution

The local authority's decision to engage Mitchell Bridges was based on their prior positive experiences. They understood Mitchell Bridges' ability to respond quickly and their likelihood of having a ready-to-deploy solution meeting requirements. Following an initial site review, Mitchell Bridges proposed a CB12, a 12-meter vehicle bridge capable of spanning the damaged culvert and accommodating vehicles up to 45 tons. This option could be transported on a single articulated lorry and lifted into place via crane, enabling quick and safe installation in confined spaces.

Installation and results

Within four days of the initial contact from the local authority, the bridge was installed, swiftly reopening the road to the local community. This rapid response minimised disruptions caused by the culvert failure and showcased Mitchell Bridges' capability to mobilise efficiently. This outcome significantly limited the negative impact on the local community, businesses, and the economy. Considering the initial complexity of the issue, the project's success stands as a testament to Mitchell Bridges' unique abilities to meet clients needs.

CB12 solution which was installed as a result of a culvert failure.

Need a temporary bridging solution?

For further information on the Mitchell Bridges CB12 (12m vehicle bridge) or any other temporary bridging solution, please get in touch. Email or speak to Chris Mitchell on 01962 885040.