Construction Enquirer £85m railway bridge project reaches crucial point

Final preparations are underway to install a landmark railway bridge in Birmingham that will become the longest single-span railway structure in the West Midlands.

The new 2,600-tonne structure, known as the SAS 13 bridge, has been pre-assembled by contractor Skanska over the last 22 months in a huge compound beside the existing railway lines.

This weekend the 92-metre-long bridge in Stechford will be driven into place to allow HS2 tracks to pass underneath it.



Eighteen huge remote-controlled transporters will drive the metal and concrete bridge into place before tracks are re-laid so freight trains can run above the HS2 route again on Monday 23 May.

Each self propelled modular transporters has 24 wheels, meaning 432 wheels will carry the load when the bridge is driven into its final position.

Patrick Cawley, director for ‘On Network Works’ for HS2 and Network Rail, said: “Moving this 2,600 tonne bridge into place is no mean feat and the new structure will ensure Britain’s new zero-carbon, high-speed railway HS2 works in harmony with the existing rail routes into the second city.”

Rosario Barcena, Skanska Rail programme director, said: “This project will deliver the largest single span railway bridge in the West Midlands, improving connectivity and paving the way for the HS2 route into Birmingham City Centre.

“We have designed and constructed the bridge to deliver value for money, reduce impact to the environment and disruption to the local community.

“The bridge has been fabricated on-site, cutting carbon emissions and reducing vehicle movements to and from site. We’re looking forward to seeing it in operation.”

 

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