HS2 has completed the first of 32 giant piers for the first Water Orton Viaduct, as work ramps up to build the Delta Junction, the project's most complex network of structures in the West Midlands.
The pier is 18 meters tall and was built using a bespoke formwork designed specifically for the project. The reinforcement cage for the pier was prefabricated in a factory near Coleshill.
The piers will support the deck of the viaduct, which will be built using an innovative construction method and bespoke machinery. The deck segments will be produced at HS2's nearby outdoor purpose-built Kingsbury factory near Lea Marston.
To reduce environmental impacts, HS2's engineers have incorporated Ground Granulated Blast-furnace Slag (GGBS) - a by-product of the steel manufacturing industry - into the structures as an eco-friendly concrete alternative to a traditional concrete mix, reducing carbon use by more than 60%.
Once built, the area underneath the viaduct will be landscaped to provide a connected and accessible area with tree planting, new wildlife habitats, footpaths and cycle routes.
Delta Junction taking shape
Sam Hinkley, HS2 senior project manager for Delta Junction, said: "This is another key moment for HS2 in the West Midlands as work ramps up on one of the most complex sections of the whole route. The Delta Junction is HS2's key interchange where the new zero-carbon high speed railway will connect between London, the Midlands and the North.
"Minimising disruption to local communities in this area has been a key consideration in our planning, including the use of innovative pre-cast construction techniques, and haul roads to take lorries off local roads."
David Waite, construction director at Balfour Beatty VINCI, said: "Witnessing the removal of the shuttering to reveal the first completed pier for Water Orton Viaduct was an important occasion for the 1,100 people who make up the Delta workforce.
"With the production line at the Kingsbury pre-cast factory now in full swing, we will start to see the viaduct take shape over the coming months, with the first span due to be completed early next year."
The Water Orton Viaducts are part of the Delta Junction, which is a triangular section of the high-speed railway made up of 9 precast segmental viaducts, embankments, and other bridging structures, with around 10km of track crossing a network of motorways, roads and rivers.
The viaducts will be amongst the tallest structures along the HS2 route, taking trains over key transport corridors including the M42, the Birmingham to Peterborough rail line and the River Tame.
Photo and Video Credit: HS2