In an industry first, floating scaffolding has been used to complete a specialist contract lift on the river Severn.

The job further expands the capabilities of the ScaffFloat system that combines patented plastic floats with standard scaffold beams, tubes and clips to make temporary pontoons and workboats for inland and coastal projects.

Working in partnerships with one of their Approved Installers Attridge Scaffolding, the partnership was able to provide a full scope of works that included both full access to the vertical concrete penstock face of the riverside water works using traditional scaffold, as well as providing two large floating scaffold pontoons for storing and lifting the new eel screens, weighing 2.2t each, into position afloat.

James Attridge said “ This project was almost 12 months in the planning. After an initial site visit with the client, it was a case of putting together a scheme utilising past experience from other projects. The exception being the floating lift rig. This is where our professional working relationship with ScaffFloat enabled both parties to work together to develop a solution. “

As one of the main UK Approved Installers of the floating scaffold system they worked with the ScaffFloat team to design a custom design that met the very site specific client requirements. Access to the water was very limited and so both pontoons were built shoreside as a skeleton framework, this kept the weight for the crane lift down to 1t. Once afloat additional tubes, clips and boards were craned down and both pontoons were completed afloat bringing their weight up to around 3t each.

The first pontoon was used as a storage pontoon, with a 6t payload it was used to store components afloat before they were fitted by the team from Edwards Diving.

The second pontoon was fitted with a custom lifting A-frame, this was designed specifically to lift the 2.2t, 6m x 3m Eel Screens. Designed and built to Eurocode standard with a suitable dynamic application and safety factor, it was also proof tested on site to over 3t. In addition Richter provided an independent Cat 3 check to provide further safety assurances.