CLM – Ferry Bridge

Ferry Bridge is an historic suspension bridge in Burton on Trent which was in need of refurbishment work during October 2015.
In order to carry out the repairs to the bridge a scaffolding system was required to be set up to allow access for the contractors. The Scaffold system would rely on the screw piles to act as the full support. The loading on the anchors would be both the weight of the system and also the side loadings from the river current and any debris floating down stream.

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Blue forest – Belton House Adventure Playground Bridge and Walkway.

This project involved installing foundations for a wooden footbridge and wooden walkway in an area that was very difficult to access with plant machinery and was protected because of listed ruins in the area. The area was also extremely boggy and could only be accessed for a short period between the wet seasons.

All these restrictions meant that the majority of the foundations would have to be installed by hand and all the equipment would have to be brought to site manually.

It was decided that this project could be undertaken using our 60R piles and installing them with the 400H hand held torque head.

For the bridge abutments we installed 6 screw piles at either end onto which a reinforced concrete slab was poured. The screw piles had to be installed to 5m deep to ensure they were in good quality stable ground. Great care had to be taken not to damage any tree roots in the top 1-2m of soil.

The boardwalk piles proved to be even more of a challenge due to the pile positions being in a partially flooded area of natural bog. The only access was via a temporary wooden sleeper bridge which was only floating on the saturated land.

One row of piles was 4m to the side of the access bridge which made it impossible to reach using the 400H hand held unit as before.

It was decided to use a 3t mini digger to install these 12 piles but it was touch and go whether or not the temporary bridge would take the weight of the 3t machine. Careful manoeuvring and a skilled driver proved that it would be possible to install the piles in this way.

Additional sleepers had to be placed into the bog to allow the digger to reach out the 4m to the pile position and once the pile tip was installed into good ground the excavator could then use the pile for support.

The 12 piles were all installed to 6m deep before adequate torque was reached.

This challenging installation proved a great success as the 12 piles now form the base of a spectacular wooden walkway over an area of natural marshland.


Bridge Foundations

Bridge foundations

Installing bridge foundations is inherently an interesting challenge but convenient because loads will be known. River and watercourse banks are usually soft although there may be hard gravels or boulders a few meters below water level. Temporary bridges also benefit from screw piles as they can be easily removed and reused.

Piles can be protected against corrosion using a variety of tested solutions and may have relatively large diameter final extensions to give sufficient lateral and vertical resistance. We produce piles with working loads up to 225kN on a regular basis with much larger capacity available if required.

The additional benefit of using raked screwpiles is that increased support is provided for river banks. They are also particularly useful where the avoidance of cement is an environmental benefit.


An early project was to create foundations for a footbridge in an area renowned for winter floods which had washed earlier bridges out to sea. The soil included small boulders up to 300mm diameter down to 3m deep. Thereafter the soil was very soft until a depth of 12m when strength improved significantly. 89mm piles were driven to maximum torque at depths of 14-15m and despite the bridge being  occasionally submerged 3m deep the foundations and bridge remain intact.