The biggest bridge we have designed so far is not conceived for human transportation. This elevated structure with a length of 3,6 kilometre and a main span of 110 metres is situated in the town of Redcar, North East England. Only the occasional maintenance crew will walk the miles within the giant tubular structure that houses two great conveyor belts. On these belts 20 million tons of a mineral called polyhalite is transported on an annual basis from the materials handling facility in Wilton to the harbour storage at Bran Sands. The material will then be loaded on to ships for bulk distribution by sea. Here our client, Sirius Minerals Plc., is developing the world’s largest polyhalite resource in North Yorkshire. Polyhalite is the raw material that is used to produce POLY4, a multi-nutrient fertilizer that will help to grow crops to feed the growing world population.
Royal HaskoningDHV has been commissioned to carry out a conceptual study for the overland conveyor and A1085 crossing. The study involves integrating the most visible section of the 3,6 km long conveyor into the landscape as well as the development of a signature bridge structure at the crossing with the A1085 motorway. The bridge will form a new gateway to the city of Redcar.
The overland conveyor is projected between the northeast edge of the Wilton site, were it faces Dormanstown, and the port at Brand Sands at the Teesmouth estuary. The current landscape between Wilton and Bran Sands is characterized by industrial complexes, some active and some derelict. Given its prominent position at the southern edge of town, the new overland conveyor bridge will define the edge of Redcar for decades to come. Coming from the A1085 motorway the overland conveyor will form a gateway to Redcar due to its size and high elevation above the landscape.
The conveyor belts are located at an average height of 10-15 metres above ground level, crossing many services and infrastructure in the process. To support the conveyor belts we designed a modular truss structure that is enclosed by a signature cladding. The cladding is conceived to protect the product on the belts from wind and rain, whilst keeping dust and noise limited to the inside. The smooth and maintenance friendly cladding has an undulating waistline that reflects the perpetual movement of belts inside the structure. A series of triangular trestles is designed to support the tubular structure. These trestles are made from tubular steel pipes in a tetrahedron geometry.
The climax of the Overland Conveyor Bridge will be the crossing of the A1085 motorway. Here a free standing arch, 30 metres tall, will carry the tubular conveyor structure to the other side. The arch is very sculptural in its form, a dynamic play of individual arches merging and splitting up again to allow the conveyor bridge to pass in between the forked legs of the structure. A duo-tone colour scheme in cream-white and baby-blue accentuates the slenderness of the arch.
|Client||Sirius Minerals Plc.||Period||2016 - 2017|
|Location||Redcar, UK||Services||Architectural and structural design, projectmanagement, planning and permissions|
|Scope||3,6 km overland conveyor bridge. average spans 50 metre, main span 110 metres arch, 30 metre tall, crossing a motorway and two train tracks.||Team||Joris Smits, Sven Spierings, Merijn de Leur, Maria Selkou, Peter Wood, Marc Bruins, Mark Palmer, Richard Parsons, Steve Pugmire, Marcel Boender|
Lead architect & bridge designer