The weather was kind to our Field Engineers who successfully installed a Swann Engineering Group 20m A-Column telecoms structure in Maentwrog, North Wales for EE, as part of the Emergency Services Network programme. The column was designed and manufactured at our cutting-edge fabrication facility in Braintree, Essex.
In addition to the extensive design and aesthetic considerations that we implement for all our deployments, a dark green paint was applied to the structure to further reduce its visual impact on the surrounding landscape of Maentwrog.
This was a challenging project due to several factors and site characteristics:
- Located in Snowdonia’s National Park, the build site was within the grounds of Maentwrog’s sewage treatment works, which resulted in limited site access.
- Due to its low-lying topography, the terrain surrounding the build site was extremely soft underfoot, which required the construction of temporary access and work surfaces.
- Special consideration had to be made to ensure the critical underground services beneath the build site were not disturbed.
- Our Field Engineers had to adhere to strict logistical guidelines detailed by local authorities and the landowner.
Ensuring plant, materials and personnel can access a build site is a challenge that our Project Managers often face with telecoms deployment projects, particularly those situated in remote locations.
For this project in particular, our Field Team had to carefully overcome logistical challenges which included navigating narrow and winding roads of rural North Wales to successfully deliver our Column structure to the build site.
The site itself was only accessible via a narrow track which, due to the low-lying nature of the area, was too soft for heavy duty vehicles to traverse.
However, our experienced Project Managers and Field Engineers made provision to construct a temporary surface from heavy duty matting, which allowed vehicles to access the build site adjacent to the foundation and cause minimal disruption to the terrain around the site.
This temporary surface provided enough clean, workable space for our Column to be unloaded, assembled, and erected. It also allowed for the heavy-duty vehicles to correctly position themselves to carry out the pre-planned lifting plan.
To assist with the assembly and installation phase of this project, we enlisted the use of a heavy-duty tracked Marooka machine, from specialist lifting company Richard Tovey Transport.
Our Field Engineers utilised the Marooka’s large crane attachment to carefully slide sections of our Column together whilst it was at ground level, and then each section was carefully pulled together to the required slip joint depth by two Tirfor winches.
To minimise the visual impact this structure has on the local area, special paint has been applied to this Column to help it blend in with the surrounding landscape. Great care was taken to ensure that there was no damage to the Column’s paintwork during transport or assembly.
Our Field Engineers installed a climbing ladder and a fall arrest system to ensure the structure could be climbed safely. A headframe spine with antenna stand-off poles and dish mount steelwork was also integrated onto the structure.
With each section of the column carefully assembled and firmly secured in place whilst at ground level, the installation phase was ready to begin. The specialist crane was used to lift the entire assembled Column, which was held in place via Tirfor winch, and then placed onto the concrete foundation. Once integrated correctly, the holding down bolts were tightened, and the verticality checked – making slight adjustments to ensure the structure was standing perpendicular to its foundation.
Once satisfied the structure was fully installed, the slings from the crane were removed and an extensive check of the structure was carried out to ensure it was safe to climb. Upon a satisfactory review of the structure, a Safe to Climb certificate was then issued.
Well done to everyone who was involved in another successful deployment of a Swann Engineering Group telecom structure, which was completed to specification, to deadline and to the customers satisfaction.
You can also find out more about this project by watching our overview video here.
This article has been published with the kind permission of (EE)
To find out more information about the Emergency Services Network, click here.
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