Hankinson EPIC work on Ballure Bridge wins in Light Rail Awards

Rebuilding Ballure Bridge on the Manx Electric Railway including the Extensive Painting work by Hankinson EPIC, has been recognised by the industry as a remarkable feat of engineering. The £1.2million project was nominated in three categories of the 2015 Light Rail Awards:

  • Project of the year under 50m Euro
  • Technical innovation of the year
  • Outstanding engineering achievement of the year

And at the awards ceremony held in London in November, Ballure Bridge won Project of the year under 50m Euro award.

Ian Longworth, Director of Public Transport said:

"The bridge was a very significant project for us that we achieved on time and on budget, which took a tremendous team effort.  It helps secure the safe operation of the MER for the future.

Phil Gawne, Infrastructure Minister, commented:

"I’m pleased the work was completed on time and within budget despite being undertaken during the winter months in order to start MER services as scheduled on 20th March this year.  It is wonderful recognition for the whole team to receive this accolade".

The project team included:-

  • DOI Public Transport Division
  • DOI Technical Services (level crossing control system design and construction)
  • Burroughs Stewart Associates (Project Manager and Structural Engineer)
  • Silva Consulting (Quantity Surveyor)
  • Primary Construction (Principal Contractor)
  • Burroughs Stewart Associates were also shortlisted for the supplier of the year category

Mr Reece – Assistant Chief Engineer said:

"This project has been a success, thanks to working with consultants and contractors.  The difficulty we faced was refurbishing a bridge with an unusual riveted metal fabrication that dates from 1897.  It had not been touched since it was repainted in 1981.  It was necessary to scaffold the whole structure and crane in new sections to replace severely corroded material and more than 700 rivets".


Operations Manager of Hankinson EPIC said:

“We were delighted to be selected as the preferred Grit Blasting & Painting Contractor on this project, which we believe stems from an excellent relationship with IOM Government which has grown over many years. The trust in this relationship has seen us deliver several “quality and on budget” major projects on the Island.  The biggest challenges we faced were mainly caused by the amount of sailings that were cancelled due to the rough seas that are encountered through the Winter months, delaying vital supplies reaching us on time. However, through our Supervisors and Painters willing attitude, many long days were endured to ensure we met the programme. The award gives us great satisfaction and is a testament that anything is possible when there is a will to succeed".


Facts and Figures

  • Height of bridge: 17 meters to bottom of glen bellow
  • Span of bridge: approx. 50 meters
  • Number of rivets in structure: approx. 17,600
  • Number of rivets replaced: more than 700
  • Structural info:
  • 8 cross beams replaced, 9 cross beams reinforced
  • 10 diagonals replaced
  • 6 diagonals braced

Area of bridge painted: 2,600 square meters

  • Paint used: 1,300 litres
  • Shot blasting material 85 tonnes
  • Construction period 32 weeks (4 November 2014 to 18 June 2015)
  • Number of construction hours: 14,000 hours