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CROSS Safety Report

Casting, transporting and installing precast concrete kerbs

Report ID: 778 Published: 1 October 2018 Region: CROSS-UK

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Overview

A reporter shares their experience of how collaborative engineering thinking involving several parties enabled a design solution to be found that could be constructed safely.

Key Learning Outcomes

For construction professionals and the design team:

  • Good communication, collaboration and planning across multiple parties can ensure the development of a safe solution for complex engineering challenges

  • A competent Temporary Works Coordinator (TWC) on site can coordinate the entire temporary works process to ensure a smooth transition through design and construction

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Our secure and confidential safety reporting system gives professionals the opportunity to share their experiences to help others. If you would like to know more, please visit the reporting to CROSS-UK page.

The construction consisted of robust precast concrete kerbs to contain the permanent way for railway lines. The project was designed preconstruction and the kerbs were designed as single entities running separately up along each side of the ramp.

The primary challenge, according to the reporter, was the limited level of access via track possession for craneage to lift and install each individual kerb (of which there was up to 100 in total). The programme required track possession for each kerb installation which was not feasible or acceptable.

Design collaboration of kerb units

The solution, as shown in Figure 1, was to design and cast a 'U-kerb' using a section of the in-situ cross ramp stitch as part of the precast connecting the original single standalone kerbs. The permanent works designers were responsible for redesigning the U-kerbs, however it was the principal contractor and the Temporary Works Coordinator (TWC) who were tasked with designing the lifting points.

The permanent works designers were responsible for redesigning the U-kerbs, however it was the principal contractor and the Temporary Works Coordinator (TWC) who were tasked with designing the lifting points

Image
Figure 1: U-shaped precast concrete kerbs

Pre-pour inspection of precast units

As the fabrication process was carried out outside of the country of installation, an external consultant was contracted to carry out an inspection regime for each pour, which also extended to all lift anchors.

Lifting of precast units

Initially, it was envisaged that a 20t pick-and-carry crane would be utilised to carry these kerbs up along the ramp to their final locations. However, with the emergence of a new item of specialised plant, it was deemed a much more controlled and safer option to install a set of rails up along the ramp and have this road rail vehicle (RRV) deliver the U-kerbs via the rail tracks.

Successful collaboration

The reporter says that the combined engineering thinking featuring the principal contractor's engineering team, the permanent works designer, the client and the precast supplier enabled a solution to be found that could be constructed safely. The entire process from redesign to installation was coordinated by the TWC for the project, which ensured a smooth transition from design through to the final product was achieved.

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