NZ2563 : Gateshead Millennium Bridge during removal of Vessel Collision Protection System

taken 9 years ago, near to Gateshead, Great Britain

Gateshead Millennium Bridge during removal of Vessel Collision Protection System
Gateshead Millennium Bridge during removal of Vessel Collision Protection System
View of the Gateshead Millennium Bridge from the terrace of the car park above the riverside between the Sage and Baltic. The large floating crane, 'Atlas', and a smaller vessel, 'Forth Sentinel' are in the river to the right. A yellow Quaylink bus is on the road below.
Gateshead Millennium Bridge VCPS

The Gateshead Millennium Bridge Vessel Collision Protection System (VCPS) was designed to protect the bridge from ship collision.

The bollards in the river bed and their attached booms NZ2563 : Millennium Bridge View - Halfway across were never part of the original plan for the Gateshead Millennium Bridge NZ2563 : Gateshead Millennium Bridge which was designed to float above the surface of an uninterrupted river. They were insisted upon by the Port of Tyne Authority on safety grounds to prevent a ship colliding with the bridge and confining them to the deepest part of the river. As an eye-sore they were referred to locally as 'the Harbourmaster's Piles' LinkExternal link

A review of the Vessel Collision Protection System (VCPS) and predicted movements of shipping was carried out in 2009. The cost of removal was estimated at £650,000, little more than the expected cost of their continued maintenance LinkExternal link

There was no great rush to remove them, although a contract specification for tenders was released by Gateshead Council in Autumn 2010.

In February 2012, civil engineers, BAM Nuttall, started the six-week process of extracting the bridge’s vessel collision protection system. The work is expected to be finished by the end of March. The floating crane which the contractors needed to do the job was delayed on another contact in Sierra Leone. A replacement, 'Forth Atlas', arrived at the bridge on 14 February 2012, allowing work to start.

Removing the VCPS involves dismantling its 14 horizontal fenders together with their flotation units, and then extracting 16 piles from their positions deep within the river bed. This will be done using a vibration unit operated from Atlas floating crane. The remaining holes will then be filled with sand LinkExternal link

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NZ2563, 1756 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Thursday, 16 February, 2012   (more nearby)
Thursday, 16 February, 2012
Geographical Context
Lowlands  Paths  Rivers, Streams, Drainage  City, Town centre  Construction, Development 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 2575 6398 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:58.1868N 1:35.9582W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 2572 6381
View Direction
NORTH (about 0 degrees)
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