December 13 2017
| Region: South East
One of the last remaining ‘Inglis’ bridges used by the military in the Second World War has been removed from beside a motorway in South Yorkshire and is to be renovated by the Royal Engineers Association. Part of the bridge will then be sent to Kent for display at a museum.
The 15m long bridge, which spanned a watercourse to the north of the M180, provided access to an airfield at RAF Sandtoft near Doncaster. It was removed using a cradle and lifted with a 400t crane before being split in two for transportation to an army base in Nottingham.
“We have never been involved in a project of this magnitude,” remarked Jim Johnstone of Doncaster Royal Engineers Association. “We are saving a piece of Corps history that otherwise would have been lost and thank Highways England for the tremendous assistance given in the recovery of the bridge.”
He added that the bridge was only discovered in the last couple of years and was saved after a farmer contacted Highways England. A segment of the bridge will make its way to the Royal Engineers Museum in Gillingham, Kent, following renovation.
Highways England project manager Russell Mclean said: “This has been a fascinating project to be involved in. We were only too happy to help although the removal of the bridge did prove to be difficult as the bridge had been there for a long time so we weren’t sure how the structure was going to hold when we removed it.”
Inglis bridges were provided for access across rivers and gaps during the Second World War as they could be constructed in a short space of time and could take a large amount of weight. They were usually assembled by a team of 12 and a turntable.
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