Constructionarium – Final day
The final two days of the projects have been as hectic as the rest but the projects are finally finished.
Kingsgate positioned the supports for the bridge, making sure that it pivots correctly, ready for the deck to be lifted in. In addition, they have had to set out the levels for the earth ramps either side to be formed to access the bridge, the ramp has a more complicated design than a straight ramp, as it has a dog leg return much like a staircase with a landing part way. The ramps had to be designed at a 1 in 20 gradient to ensure access for all. Once set out, the amazing digger driver on site was able to construct the ramp for us giving us easy access to the bridge. Once this was done the dam which had been constructed earlier in the week was removed allowing the water to flow around the bridge supports. The final part of the project was to lift the deck and move and position it in place upon the supports, then swing the two halves together and see if they meet – thankfully they did and the bridge was complete!
For the nuclear team Thursday saw the final concrete pour of the week, casting the walls of the reactor building ready for the dome to be sat on top. The final day consisted of striking the form work of the reactor walls, lifting the done onto some support pillars so that its formwork could be removed, placing the pressure vessel inside the reactor and finally lifting the dome onto the reactor walls, again the students hard work paid off with a good fit on top of the reactor and a successfully completed project.
Finally, the Ravenspurn team cast their deck and assembled the rig. The rig was lifted into place and positioned and fixed on top of the caisson. On the last day the dry dock where the rig had been constructed was flooded again ready to float the rig into its final position in the lake. Unfortunately, the water level did not reach a sufficient level to float the rig and the team were therefore unable to move it to its final position, the intention was once the rig floated, to move it with the aid of ropes into position, and then pump water into the hollow caisson to sink it into position. It was a shame that this didn’t happen but the students did an amazing job of constructing the rig and the finished project was very impressive.
Overall the week has been a steep learning curve, with lots of new terms, processes and experiences being thrown at the students. All teams rose to the challenge and exceeded expectations in the quality of the work they produced. The teams worked brilliantly together and have learnt a huge amount about not only the practical side of construction, but also the design and management aspects and the huge importance of these to the success of a project.