13 Dec 2017

Historic military bridge makes final journey

One of the last military bridges built to give access to RAF Sandtoft, a Second World War airfield, has been removed after it was installed during the war.

Inglis bridges were the first modular bridges created for access across rivers and gaps during the war as they could be constructed in a short space of time and could take a large amount of weight.

The bridge, believed to be the only known surviving Mark 1 version, has been removed from over a 7m wide watercourse to the north of the M180 in South Yorkshire.

The bridge, which has not been used since the end of the Second World War, was the responsibility of Highways England and will be renovated by the Royal Engineers Association at the army base in Nottingham. A partial segment of the bridge will be sent to the Royal Engineers Museum in Gillingham, Kent when renovations are completed.

The 50 feet bridge was removed by a cradle that was bolted to the roadway of the structure and lifted by a 400 tonne crane. The bridge was then split into two so it could be transported to the army base.

Highways England Project Manager Russell Mclean said: “This has been a fascinating project to be involved in. We were approached by the Royal Engineers Association earlier this year who were interested in renovating a segment of the bridge for their museum.

“We were only too happy to help them with their request although the removal of the bridge did prove to be difficult as the bridge has been there for a long time so we weren’t sure how the structure was going to hold when we removed it. Luckily we were able to remove a large enough segment which can now be put proudly on display in the Royal Engineers Museum in Gillingham, Kent.”

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