Forge Island footbridge to be recycled after being removed by 350-tonne crane

IT TOOK a huge crane less than an hour to remove a long-standing link between the town centre and the council’s flagship development site.

Workers from Baldwins Crane Hire rigged up the 350-tonne crane on Monday to hoist the 80-tonne Forge Island footbridge onto the west bank of the River Don.

The bridge had provided a crossing for shoppers between Corporation Street and the island where Hillards and then Tesco stood, before the site latterly became a car park.

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Rotherham Council has appointed developers to oversee a cinema, hotel and other leisure facilities being built there as the centrepiece of its town centre masterplan.

Baldwins’ heavy lift project director, Liam McLoughlin, said the crane had been brought on site at 6am ahead of the afternoon lifting, for which the firm used a 50-metre telescopic boom.

“Our projects and contract division have decades of experience installing and removing structures such as this one,” he added.

“The set-up and the lifting of the bridge all went as planned.

“There were no concerns with any aspect of the lift.

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“The main challenge on site was with the temperature, which was just short of 30 deg C, for most of the day, so frequent hydration and rest breaks were necessary.

“The Crane we utilised today is the most versatile — with 1,000-tonne capacity —mobile crane in the UK.

“The short time and space required for set up and de-rigging made it the perfect crane to complete this scope of work.”

The removed bridge, which was made from steel, will be dismantled on Forge Island and recycled by Parkgate-based Ron Hull Demolition.