Osborne – Apsley, Featherbed Lane Bridge.

The Featherbed Lane community has long awaited the installation of a new bridge over the West Coast Mainline and Timbermat has been working with Geoffrey Osborne Ltd. to make this happen.

The work carried out was part of a new build plan to deliver Bovis Homes’ 325-home development, whilst maintaining the existing landscape and ecology of the Manor Estate in Apsley. As part of the plan, a new 190-tonne bridge was set to be assembled in order to form a major access route into the new housing estate using a 600-tonne crawler crane. It was hoped that the bridge would alleviate current traffic congestion in the area and provide capacity for increased traffic flow.

During the 4-week long project, we provided Osborne with 200mm x 1m x 5m Dabema hardwood timber mats to support the gruelling weight of the ‘Demag CC2800’ Crawler Crane, the largest ever operated by Osborne and one of the biggest in the UK. With the crane, itself weighing over 600 tonnes, the bridge at 190 tonnes and tackle making up the rest of the weight, the Dabema timber mats were required to hold a counterweight of around 1000 tonnes. The loaded crane was set to pick up and carry RBE Steel beams over a distance of 60m and place them into position on the new bridge.

Dabema is one of the most commonly used Tropical Hardwood mat species, possessing crucial properties such as their hardness, interlocked grain and elasticity. Traditionally from the west coast of Africa, dabema wood has a thin and smooth texture allowing it to be used without any protection varnishes. Due to its’ resistance to static bending and compressive strength, Dabema wood was the ideal solution for the project when reviewing the immense pressure that the timber mats were required to undergo. The pressure under the tracks was up to 50 tonnes per m2 – similar to under an elephant’s’ foot.

Timbermat have a long-standing reputation in the crane mat and outrigger pad sector, having worked on many major projects in the construction industry, helping to build a strong, stable and durable roadway, walkway or working platform. We have a range of 70mm, 100mm, 150mm, 200mm and 300mm thick mats, all measuring from 3m to 6m in size. Our tropical hardwood mats are capable of carrying up to 75 tonnes per mat and come in a range of species including Ekki and Dabema. Whilst providing a sturdy and durable surface beneath the cranes, they also protect exposed earth and soil against damage from construction traffic.

All of our timber mats are made from either EUTR or FSC certified timber, ensuring quality timber sourced from legal sustainable forests. If you would like any more information on the project or have a project coming up, get in contact with us on 0800 012 1231 or fill out our online contact form and one of our experts will come back to you as soon as possible.

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