Hedley Hydraulics Limited in the UK, a dedicated Hydraulics Technology Centre, has provided an innovative solution to power the second largest swing bridge in the UK.
Netheridge Bridge is a 38 metre long swing bridge erected over the new Two Mile Cut in the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, allowing road traffic to cross the cut and opening to enable large vessels to navigate the canal. The new Two Mile Cut section was constructed as part of Gloucester’s South West Bypass project, and allows waterborne vessels a quicker and easier to navigate stretch of canal than the previous double canal bend, while also easing surrounding road traffic congestion.
The bridge power and control solution developed by Hedley Hydraulics is based on the company’s 36 years experience with hydraulics technology and uses a wide range of Parker components, including an innovative pipe connection system used to simplify the construction process.
Hedley Hydraulics customer commented that “We required a method of safely and precisely positioning the swing bridge that would offer long, low maintenance service in the face of harsh outdoor conditions. Hydraulics technology provided by Hedley Hydraulics proved ideal for the job so we set about designing a system that would be up to the challenge.” Hedley Hydraulics, who used their knowledge and expertise as a to offer a solution incorporating a specially developed hydraulic power unit (HPU) used to power the swing bridge, in addition to nose- and tail-end manifold assemblies.
The bespoke Hedley HPU inside the bridge consists of a base frame upon which is built a bund unit, a stainless steel reservoir assembly, axial piston pumps, electric motors, various manifold assemblies, filtration units, a re-circulation system and a number of ancillary valves. Combining these latest components, the HPU is able to provide the power required to rotate the heavy bridge across a 26m span when required to enable larger vessels to pass through. The speed at which the bridge is slewed is precisely controlled by Hedley’s control system at the nose- and tail-end of the bridge, to ensure safe and efficient operation every time the bridge is opened.
In addition to the HPU and manifold assemblies, Hedley Hydraulics used Parker’s innovative pipework connection system. John Massey, Director of Hedley Hydraulics responsible for the project, explained, “We had used Parker’s EO2-Form pipework connection system previously, with excellent results. We were therefore confident that using the system for the Netheridge Bridge project would enable installation and connection times for the pipework on the bridge to be significantly reduced.”
The customer was impressed with the results, “The Netheridge Bridge was opened on schedule and works beautifully, thanks to the solution developed by Hedley Hydraulics and the use of high quality Parker components. The bridge is a great example of what can be achieved by the latest hydraulics technology and strong engineering partnerships.”