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ALE reaches Thames Tideway milestone by saving time and cost with bespoke lifting system

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ALE has completed the second phase of work on the Thames Tideway project in London, on behalf of the FLO joint venture, comprised of Ferrovial Agroman and Laing O’Rourke, which is delivering the central segment of the project. ALE devised a time and cost-saving lifting system, successfully loading and transporting 72 components, weighing between 9-119t, for two Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs).

ALE’s first phase of work on the project began in November 2017 with the construction of two TBM cradles in Tideway Central’s laydown area.

ALE secured the contract due to the confidence the client had in their R&D division’s innovative methodology that could complete the scope quickly and cost-effectively. The R&D division designed a bespoke lifting solution and cradles to hold the fully-constructed TBMs.

In January 2018, the second phase commenced with the delivery of components to the site using a specially designed sheerleg system to unload the heaviest items and a crawler crane for the remaining components. Both methods were chosen as the best equipment to maximise the lifting schedule within the available tidal window and optimise cost -savings.

The components were then transported to the laydown area using 8 axle lines of SPMT.

“By designing the sheerleg to specifically fit within the capacity of the jetty, we could provide the most cost-effective method to the client. The bespoke equipment our R&D division designed for the Thames Tideway project has enabled us to complete the first two phases swiftly and safely,” explained Chris Horan, ALE’s Project Manager.

“There are so many stakeholders involved across this whole project so we are delighted to have successfully coordinated the transportation of so many components within the tight project schedule. We are looking forward to progressing to the next phase of the Thames Tideway project.”

The components will be assembled on the cradles by the client. When fully constructed, the TBMs will weigh 865t each and measure 17.7m long with a diameter of 8.84m.

Following this, the next phase will begin near the end of May. ALE will transport the two TBMs onsite and then lower them down a 65m-deep shaft. ALE’s work on the project is scheduled to be completed by the end of October 2018.

The Thames Tideway project involves the construction of a 25km underground tunnel, up to 66m deep, which will help to expand London’s sewerage system.

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