To view our full product range, click here

LIEBIG anchors ‘bridge the gap’ in Third River Crossing bridge project

Case Study

From Barnsley to Great Yarmouth via New York!

Heavy duty LIEBIG Ultraplus undercut anchors, which are believed to be the largest mechanical anchors ever used in a civil engineering project, have played a key role in the construction of a bridge in East Anglia.

Constructed by BAM Farrans, the new £121m Herring Bridge over the River Yare in Great Yarmouth is set to be a catalyst for investment and development in the coastal town. 

The new Herring Bridge open and ready to allow passage to busy marine fleets operating between Great Yarmouth and them many offshore power units located in the North Sea.

The double bascule bridge was designed by globally renowned infrastructure engineering specialists Hardesty & Hannover, based in New York. Their design features cofferdams on both banks of the river to house the machinery and mechanisms required to lift, hold and lower each leaf of the bridge, and it was here where LIEBIG heavy duty anchors were deployed.

Working with bridge design specialists Roughan & O’Donovan (ROD) and project engineers Qualter Hall, the team identified LIEBIG Ultraplus from EJOT UK, as the only genuine undercut anchor that could offer a post-installation solution for this high load application. Due to the complex nature of the project and to keep the schedule on track, a post-installation approach was preferred over cast-in anchoring and the LIEBIG solution satisfied engineers that it would comfortably meet the demanding performance requirements.


Paul Papworth, EJOT’s Liebig Anchoring Consultant, with one of the Ultraplus anchors and the specially modified cutting tool. These heavy duty undercut anchors are believed to be the largest mechanical anchors ever used in a civil engineering project.
Ultraplus anchors ready to leave EJOT UK’s manufacturing unit.

A series of these mechanical anchors were installed in lengths of 1.09m and 1.45m with an M36 diameter after the hole preparation by drilling specialists Core Cut. A mix of the two anchor lengths were used on the same baseplates in an unconventional yet successful approach, securing eight baseplates in total – four on each side of the river. Two baseplates on each side of the river were mounted into the “lower” clevis to secure the lifting and lowering hydraulics. 

One of Qualter Hall’s baseplates being manoeuvred into place on the lower clevis

The mechanism also features tail locks. These secure the turnbuckles that hold the bridge in its ‘raised and open’ position for prolonged periods, and are designed to take loads in excess of 192 tonnes per plate (384 tonnes total) per side. 

One of the Turnbuckle / tail lock baseplates positioned after the anchor holes and undercuts have been created and awaiting installation of the anchor.
Once completed the under-baseplate grout will be poured.

Explaining how this mix of anchor lengths provided the solution, EJOT UK’s anchoring specialist, Paul Papworth said: 

“Whilst the ETA (European Technical Assessment) for Ultraplus does not legislate for using different lengths of anchor in the same baseplate, the ACI (American Concrete Institute) Building Code does because it takes into account the additional area of resistance in the concrete which can be created by the approach. This meant our anchor specification, in conjunction with our advised redesign of the baseplate which allowed increased concrete capacity to be achieved, would be approved using a combination of different design codes.”

The project was not without its challenges, largely due to multiple components coming together ‘when ready’ rather than ‘when scripted’. Any problems which arose during installation, however, could be resolved collaboratively without adversely affecting the build schedule or budget.

In addition to the very large anchors used to secure the operating machinery, a series of smaller M16 and M20 LIEBIG Ultraplus anchors were deployed to attach the bridge deck’s metal transition plates. 

BAM’s Section Engineer Chris Griggs was impressed by EJOT’s ability to provide onsite support and guidance to achieve the correct application of these critical elements.

Chris commented:

“Paul and his team raised the bar on this project in terms of what we should expect from our anchoring partner, particularly in terms of the toolbox talks and availability onsite to solve any problems throughout the process. It was good to be involved in a project where the anchoring ‘experience’ was refreshingly different, and we have so many positives to take away and apply in our future projects.”

Ultraplus anchors secure angled that support the hydraulic mechanisms of the bridge decks as well as the tail locks that will hold the bridge in its raised and open.

Baseplate template used on the lower clevis. Project timelines dictated Ultraplus anchors were installed ahead of finished baseplate delivery.

The image shows top hat plastic washers placed in the holes prior to placement of the baseplate.

Image shows two of the four baseplates delivered to site which are designed to to secure the lifting and lowering hydraulics. (Lower clevis).

Securing of the first baseplate showing four of the 12 Ultraplus anchors in position.

The turnbuckle baseplate with anchors partially installed.