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The Cliff Lift Bridge replacement

The Cliff Lift Bridge replacement

Reid Steel were appointed by MCM construction to design, supply and install the replacement cliff lift bridge.

The lift was badly damaged by German bombers during WWII and was eventually demolished with explosives in 1957 after which a new lift was built, which was re-opened in 1958.

Due to the fragility of the cliff, the project brief was very challenging; the design could not exceed 12.6 tonnes including all of the glass, the steel frame, the floor and the roofing materials.

REIDsteel was also heavily restricted by the conditions of the cliff top road, made worse by the eroding cliff, so all operations were rigorously checked and monitored during the entire build process.

The steel structure is an uncommon Vierendeel truss design, meaning the structural members form rectangular openings, and has a frame with fixed joints that are capable of transferring and resisting bending moments.

The two main truss modules were dressed with aluminium framing at the REIDsteel works in Christchurch which then received glazing on site. In order to do this, the REIDsteel team designed and constructed bespoke trestles, facilitating the off-site assembly process saving a lot of time.

They utilised a GRP deck construction to help their client reduce the amount of maintenance needed for this part of the bridge. Additionally, REIDsteel used a lightweight insulated membrane roof construction incorporating roof hatch, ensuring the client was able to access the lift plant roof to install and remove both new and old lift equipment when necessary.

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