Latest Rail News

10.08.20

HS2 installs new bridge over M42 in just two days

A 65-metre bridge was installed in just two days and ahead of schedule as the motorway opened 22 hours earlier than planned.

The works near Interchange Station move Solihull closer to the arrival of HS2, Britain’s new low carbon high speed railway.

Led by specialist engineering contractor, Expanded and HS2 enabling works contractor, LMJV (Laing O’Rourke and J. Murphy & Sons Joint Venture), the 2,750-tonne bridge structure was carried along the motorway on a self-propelled modular transporter.

The 448-whell transporter took just one hour and 45 minutes to move the bridge span 150 metres, where it was attached to a composite concrete deck to complete the complete bridge structure.

Traditional construction methods would have needed several weeks of lane closures on both carriageways, followed by further weekend and overnight closures.

The new bridge marks the completion of the first of four bridges to be built close to the new Interchange Station.

Additionally, it will form part of the major remodelling of the regional road network to improve the circulation of traffic around the HS2 railway line and connect the existing road network to the new Interchange Station.

HS2, once completed, will provide the West Midlands within an hour’s commute of Manchester, Leeds, York, Sheffield and London, making it one of the most connected parts in the country.

HS2’s Interchange station is at the centre of the UK Central Hub growth area while will create 70,000 new and safeguarded jobs, up to 5,000 new homes and 650,000 square metres of commercial space.

Mark Thurston, HS2 Ltd’s CEO said: “This new road bridge is the first permanent structure to be installed along the route of Britain’s new railway. Today represents an important milestone for the project and the West Midlands region - which is already benefiting from thousands of jobs and renewed investment as a result of HS2.

“Constructing the bridge off site and using innovative engineering practices to install it over the motorway enabled us to carry out the work in just two days, keeping disruption to a minimum for road users”.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands said: “Seeing major construction activity like this in Solihull is hugely encouraging as it shows HS2 is now truly underway. In just a few years, the HS2 station at Interchange and further investments in public transport will help make Solihull one of the best-connected places in the UK.

“Today’s work also comes at a critical time for the West Midlands, as we look to bounce back economically from the coronavirus crisis. Major infrastructure projects like HS2 have a critical role to play as they help stimulate demand and create and secure local jobs for local people”.

Image: HS2 

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