Redcliffe Bascule Bridge

Redcliffe Bascule Bridge, in the vibrant city of Bristol, has undergone a remarkable transformation with the collaboration of Fairfield Control Systems and Fairfield Engineering Solutions. This historical bridge, dating back to the 1940s, has been revitalised to provide a safer and more efficient route for the public while accommodating larger boats that pass through. The successful completion of this refurbishment project under an NEC contract, initially assigned to The Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company and later to Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd, has been made possible through the expertise and dedication of Fairfield Control Systems.

Fairfield Control Systems was responsible for upgrading and replacing various electrical components that govern the bridge’s critical functions and surroundings. Among the tasks performed were replacing Wig Wags, installing a state-of-the-art CCTV system for traffic monitoring, and refurbishing existing gates with new Auma actuators to create new traffic barriers. The team also carried out extensive electrical installations, including lighting, emergency lighting, small power installation replacements, and installing a fire alarm system. They efficiently removed and disposed of redundant electrical equipment, setting the stage for implementing a modern Bridge Control System and new control system instrumentation. Pre and post PUWER assessments were conducted to ensure safety compliance throughout the project. Moreover, including a Telemetry Unit and an Intruder Alarm added further layers of security, while a dedicated generator earth was integrated for reliability.

Meanwhile, Fairfield Engineering Solutions focused on refurbishing crucial mechanical elements essential to the bridge’s structural integrity. The team addressed issues related to the differential gearbox lubrication system, effectively repairing oil leaks and replacing the oil to enhance performance. In addition, inspections and necessary repairs were carried out on the thruster-holding brakes and magnetic motor brakes to ensure smooth and reliable mechanical operations.

Through this comprehensive upgrade, Redcliffe Bascule Bridge has been elevated to a higher standard of safety and functionality. Fairfield Control Systems employed cutting-edge Siemens PLCs to facilitate fast, secure, and reliable communication between the main motors that operate the bridge’s opening and closing functions. Centralised control from the newly upgraded control room, equipped with a state-of-the-art control desk, has streamlined operations and enhanced overall efficiency. Furthermore, the upgrade encompassed essential features such as an emergency stop system, traffic control, fire alarms, and CCTV, further ensuring the safety of bridge users. Notably, an Overspeed detection system has been implemented as an additional safeguard.

In conclusion, the collaboration between Fairfield Control Systems and Fairfield Engineering Solutions has breathed new life into the iconic Redcliffe Bascule Bridge. The extensive electrical and mechanical upgrades have made the bridge safer and more reliable and paved the way for smoother operations and enhanced control. Fairfield Control Systems’ expertise in electrical installations and advanced control systems has played a vital role in the success of this refurbishment project, ensuring that this historical landmark remains an integral part of Bristol’s landscape for years to come.

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