The towers, part of the Tees Crossing overhead line project, stand at an impressive 145 m tall and will carry a 400-kV electricity line across the River Tees near Middlesbrough, UK. As the final sections of the new towers were lifted into place by a 1200-ton crane, overhead linesmen from Balfour Beatty scaled the towers to complete the installation.
The work was carried out by the Electricity Alliance East, a National Grid-led partnership with Balfour Beatty, undertaking works to upgrade and renew the electricity transmission network in England and Wales.
Alan MacKenzie, Head of Electricity Alliance East, commented, “This project has provided our teams with a number of challenges. The route of the overhead line crosses steel and petrochemical works, weaves around railway lines and various other industrial buildings, pipes and gantries.
“The height of these towers has also made the job technically very challenging. The towers required very deep foundations due to both their weight and the ground conditions. Even topping the towers out has proven difficult; with the weather conditions having a much greater impact on work than they normally would, and wind speeds in particular requiring careful monitoring to ensure safety. Topping out some of the UK’s tallest electricity towers is a great opportunity to showcase the work that goes into providing the electricity that we all rely on every day.”
The new towers form just one section of the Tees Crossing project, which involves the construction of 14 new towers in total and the refurbishment of a further 32 towers along a 13-km route. With the new towers complete, the next stage of the project involves stringing the new electricity line using a helicopter.
The project is due for completion in November 2013.