Contractor - Edmund Nuttall Ltd.

The project was to provide safe access for each phase of the progressive construction of 18 pairs of support piers to the A249 Swale Bypass crossing onto the Isle of Sheppy.


  • Columns max 30m high tapered from 3.85m to 3m.
  • Access required at multi level for steel fixing shuttering and concrete pour.
  • Five sets of piers were founded in the river.
  • High payload required.
  • Power required for tools on platform.
  • Demanding programme – required quick erect and dismantle.


A special design was drawn up to provide

  • Two mast climbers with profiled platforms to a column.>
  • The MCWP were mounted on a transportable steel base inclined to suit the taper of the column.
  • the steel base allowed the platform to be craned from position to position and to be quickly and efficiently re-positioned
  • the platform had a drop down section to give access over the column for the concrete pour
  • Payload of 1200 kg
  • On board power for welding – eliminated trailing cables
  • Platform was encapsulated in adverse weather
  • The system progressed at 7m a cycle. Far quicker than could be achieved with scaffold.

The men working on the system to pour the columns were very pleased and commented, when it was encapsulated that it was "just like working in a workshop". The platform provided safe and stable multi-level access and was far more efficient and safe than scaffolding.

Derek Kent (regional engineer) was impressed by the efficiency and cost effectiveness of this system.

Steve Grey – site agent said that PHD Hoists and Masts’  solution to engineer an inclined mast climber to follow the taper of the columns was inspired.