Manchester Airport wheels bridge into place [–with video]

The 216-tonne structure is transported into place

Manchester Airport Terminal Two is currently going through a £1.3bn modernisation programme, with a new pier offering extra aircraft gates, stands and seating.

To connect the existing terminal building to the new pier a two-storey covered bridge structured has been fabricated offline and wheeled into place.

More than 270 pieces of steel went into constructing the new bridge, comprised of metal decking and 150mm concrete slab flooring. The 90ft long by 33 ft high bridge was put together on the airfield over the course of three months. Last week an eight-hour operation saw it wheeled and raised and then crawler into its final place last week using a self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) unit supplied by Dutch heavylift specialist Mammoet.

The Manchester Airport Transformation Programme (MAN-TP) is scheduled for completion next year, and will see Terminal Two more than double in capacity. Around three-quarters of the airport’s passengers will use the new-look terminal when it is completed. Firms working on the link bridge included Mace, which is overseeing the second phase of the MAN-TP project, and its suppliers Martifer, Bethell, Amco, LPL Construction Services and DGP.

Jill Fraser, the airport’s programme delivery director, said: “Installing this link bridge was a massive undertaking and it was incredible to watch such a huge piece of infrastructure carefully lifted into place, precise to the millimetre.”

Mace project director David Hanmer added: “The window to move the bridge was very tight – to ensure the minimum amount of disruption to the airport and its passengers. As you would expect, it wasn’t an easy task, but everyone involved stepped up to the challenge.”

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