Aspin inspections teams rushed to the rescue for our partners Highways England Area 7 when a transporter carrying a digger struck a bridge, making news headlines and causing traffic gridlock - and it's resulted in more work.
The fast-acting team had an emergency call-out from Highways England and were fully mobilised and on site within the hour to help the EMAD community restore order as quickly as possible and ensure the bridge was safe to allow local and commuter traffic on one of Nottingham's busiest ring roads.
Thankfully no-one was injured in the accident which involved the stricken vehicles (combined estimated weight of 60 tonnes), striking the bridge and then toppling over to block the road. The bridge was badly damaged and traffic could not be allowed to pass until the site had been cleared and the bridge and carriageway conditions carefully inspected to ensure it was safe to re-open.
Aspin's first responder Neil Easom took the call: "I was on a training course when the call came through so that was interrupted and there was no time to lose. We're set up for fast response and immediately put our plans into action, with vehicles and the team and getting the necessary safety clearances to get to site as fast as possible to inspect the damage. We were ready to go in just half an hour," he said.
Bridge inspector Lance Woodhouse made his way to the site together with an engineer from partner Highways England and, with the help of a MEWP, set to task immediately. Timing was critical and the situation was potentially even more serious due to the proximity of a gas mains pipe on the other side of the damaged beam, as well as diesel and hydraulic fluid spills on the carriageway. Full tactile inspections of the impact area were carried out to reveal damage to the steel tendons in the beam. After intensive inspections (and much to the relief of road users), the bridge and carriageway were deemed safe and full working order was restored as quickly as possible. Aspin has also been commissioned to monitor and inspect the bridge on a weekly basis since the incident to ensure it remains safe to use until full structural repairs can be carried out.
Partnership working - making the difference
"As a community, we really did pull together with Highways England and all the other partners. It was genuinely a team effort with one goal, to make the roads safe for use and we're proud to be part of a team that makes a difference," added Neil.
Aspin Technical Services Director, Lee Healey, was among those to congratulate the team "Our Team has done Aspin a huge credit, by demonstrating our agility to respond and provide assurance to stakeholders and customers. It's yet more evidence of our mission to help keep the UK safe and on the move, working in partnership and close collaboration with our clients," he said.