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UK bridge builder spans continents.

An historic British engineering firm behind an 8 million [pounds sterling] swing bridge that is helping to regenerate waterfront areas in Hull is taking its expertise into overseas markets.

Qualter Hall helped to design and build the Scale Lane Bridge which spans the River Hull. The bridge allows pedestrian access when in its fixed position across the water, before swinging through 90[degrees] to sit level with the bank to allow river traffic to pass.

The 57m bridge was made in 40 pieces at Qualter Hall's facilities in Barnsley and in the supply chain. Modules were transported to site, welded together on the bank and then lifted into place.

Graham Carr, technical director at Qualter Hall, which was founded in 1860, said the bridge acted as a showcase for the company's expertise with moving structures.

"It's a really innovative solution," he said. "The design is based on a big turntable. There is a centre slewing ring that gives lateral stability, and three geared motors as part of the drive system for motion. In total, there is a 35m cantilever, with a hydraulic jacking system at the nose end to enable the bridge to fix into position." Carr said one of the biggest challenges on the project was the integration of architectural, structural and mechanical requirements: "The bridge has retail developments built into it, so we had to fit it out with systems such as waste-water, air conditioning and extraction units."

Carr said that local reaction to the bridge, which opened last month, had been favourable. The success of the project had encouraged the firm to push for similar export projects.

"We are doing all the control equipment for a lifting bridge in Indonesia. And there are other opportunities in related markets. We are also working on a funicular in South Korea," he said.

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Publication:Professional Engineering Magazine
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 1, 2013
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