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Ocean Bridge Arrival

A Bridge of Many Parts

CCT's Press & Media Manager Mike Gallagher was on site to record the arrival of Ocean swing bridge.

The picture right shows the two sets of hand rails lying close together.

The crane can be seen swinging steel girders that will form the deck supports.

Mike commented, "It looks like it will be quite an assembly job, there are so many pieces to be bolted together"

Galliford Try Project Engineer Richard Scott confirmed Mike's observation and explains the need for assembling the bridge from parts delivered to site.

“The access to the site is really narrow. 

It would have been wonderful to crane in the completed bridge but the narrowness of the roadway and closeness of the houses just did not allow for that.”


Richard enlarged upon these challenges by explaining that the restricted work space meant that a smaller, and slightly slower, than normal pile driving machine had to be used. The completed bridge will weigh over ten tons and will swivel on a pivot.

“It will be 11 metres long and is really finely balanced. The balance point means that there is 8 metres out over the canal and 3 metres behind the balance point. That is where the balance weight is positioned”


Asked about the fact that this heavy steel fabrication will need to be swung by one person Richard offered the following reassurance…

“That’s been taken care of. This bridge has been built by one of the top bridge fabricators in the country – Littlehampton Welding of Sussex who make many bespoke items in metal. The heritage requirements of the project was the reason they were appointed as bridge manufacturer."

"The users won’t be pushing a heavy iron bar to open it. This will be hydraulically operated by the boat crew using a windlass to wind a rotary pump mechanism.”

History & Satisfaction

A striking feature of our chat with Richard was his sense of history and personal satisfaction with the work he is engaged in. This was summed up by his observation…

"I like to think of our ancestors, those workers who did all this way back in the 1700’s. They did it all without big powerful equipment. I have often thought of them working here in this beautiful place all those years ago.”

“Another thing that has been good about being here is the great support and encouragement we have had from the tow-path walkers. They should be using the bridge in early May”

Click on the icon right to find out more about the bridge fabricator.