Viaducts start to take shape for HS2

Viaducts start to take shape for HS2

HS2 has reached a major milestone in its North Warwickshire construction, completing the first massive deck span for a key viaduct. This colossal concrete behemoth, weighing in at a staggering 920 tonnes, marks the beginning of a complex network of 13 viaducts that will eventually carry HS2 trains between London, Birmingham, and Manchester.

The first milestone achievement happened on the River Tame West Viaduct, a precast giant at the Delta Junction's northern tip. This viaduct will carry three tracks across the River Tame near Water Orton, eventually joining the Curdworth Box.

The intricate junction, six railway tracks run side-by-side before splitting into different paths. The River Tame West Viaduct handles three, the River Tame East Viaduct carries one and the Water Orton Viaducts manage two apiece.

Further south, two longer viaducts – Water Orton No. 1 and No. 2 – will curve towards Birmingham, allowing entry and exit from Curzon Street Station.

"This is a great moment for the Delta Junction team," declared Sam Hinkley, HS2's senior project manager.

“Building this triangular network of 13 viaducts is a huge feat of engineering, with a total of 10km of HS2 tracks crossing a network of motorways, local roads, railways and rivers to enable high speed trains to travel between London, Birmingham and the North."

Each 920-tonne span consists of 16 concrete segments, which have been lifted by crane and positioned one by one. These segments are then secured using a combination of temporary and permanent techniques, ensuring structural integrity.

"It's exciting to see the River Tame West Viaduct taking shape," said Nicolas Gallone, section manager at Balfour Beatty VINCI, the main contractor for this section of HS2. "This is just the beginning of an incredible construction journey, and we'll be ramping up work on all these viaducts in the coming months."

Behind the scenes, a collaboration of expertise is fueling this project. The Mott MacDonald and SYSTRA Design Joint Venture (MMSDJV) is responsible for ensuring all design requirements are met, while also drawing on local expertise throughout the Midlands.

"This is a fantastic milestone," said Ian Johnson, project director at MMSDJV. "Seeing the first span in place is a testament to the collaborative spirit and innovative design approach that will ultimately connect Old Oak Common with Birmingham."

Photo Credit: HS2

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