In 2013 we inspected the Ro-Ro linkspan at Berth 4 in the Port of Sheerness and identified a number of major defects. We then carried out an option assessment considering the alternatives of repair or replacement. A Major factor in this study was the operational cost of taking the linkspan out of service for the duration of the repairs and due to this and Peel Ports requirement for a long design life a replacement solution was subsequently chosen.
The existing linkspan, consisted of steel underslung trusses and a concrete deck with the trusses partially submerged at high tide. This arrangement had lead to some of the linkspan’s deterioration so Beckett Rankine developed a new design that remains wholly above water. The new design consisted of fabricated steel beams supporting an orthotropic steel road deck so that the linkspan continued to have no height restriction for vehicles. Our design also enabled the existing linkspan to be removed and the replacement installed in a minimal time window between vessel loading/unloading operations.
The works were tendered and Ravestein, the winning contractor, successfully completed the installation in 2015.