This month saw the installation of a new linkspan bridge at Berth No 4 in Sheerness Docks. The new orthotropic steel deck linkspan was designed to tender stage by Beckett Rankine and fabricated by Ravestein at their yard in Deest, Holland. Measuring 35.5 metres long and 9.8 metres wide the new linkspan is designed to carry large earth moving trucks weighing up to 120 tonnes. The new bridge replaces an “underslung framed” steel linkspan which was partly immersed in the sea and had become seriously corroded.
Berth No 4 is used by quarter ramp RoRo vessels transporting cars, commercial vehicles and abnormal loads; it is one of two berths in the port which can handle these vessels. The new linkspan was floated on a barge from Rotterdam to the Medway and lifted into position using a 250 tonne capacity floating crane.
Almost 20 people were involved on the Berth 4linkspan replacement operations which were completed on time and without incident. The old linkspan was lifted out of position on 19th May and some small repair works and bankseat adaptations were then carried out. The new linkspan was lifted into position on the 25th May and the old linkspan was then taken back to the Netherlands by Ravestein for scrapping. The programme for the works was tight, the berth was only out of operation for one week and a ship berthed and unloaded over the linkspan the morning after it was installed.