Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


Video | O’Rourke and Murphy install 914t HS2 bridge in 45 minutes

26 October 2020

A joint venture between Laing O’Rourke and Murphy has installed a 45m, 914-tonne modular bridge for HS2 in just 45 minutes.

The work took place on the A446 in Solihull last weekend (24-25 October).

It is the second of four bridges to be completed on the site of HS2’s new Interchange Station and will carry the A452 and form part of the remodelling of the local road network.

Cleveland Bridge manufactured and supplied 220 tonnes of steel girders for the bridge, while Laing O’Rourke’s offsite manufacturing division Expanded in Nottinghamshire provided 80 precast concrete modular abutment blocks.

With the support of consultants WSP and Ramboll, the bridge was constructed using a design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA) approach.

After building the bridge in modular sections, a 128-wheel hydraulic platform took just 45 minutes to move the bridge span 150 metres, where it was lowered onto the abutment shells to complete the overall bridge structure. Traditional construction methods would have required several weeks of lane closures on both carriageways, followed by additional weekend and overnight closures, HS2 said.

HS2’s delivery director David Bennett said: “As work ramps up at one of HS2’s largest construction sites, it was fantastic to see this next milestone achieved so quickly. It was finished 24 hours ahead of schedule and follows hot on the heels of the installation of the bridge over the M42 in August, which was also completed early. We’re pleased to see innovations like this on the project dramatically reducing environmental impacts and disruption for road users.

“With construction of the railway now well underway, 22,000 jobs being created and an estimated 400,000 supply chain contracts available, HS2 is playing a pivotal role in helping Britain’s economic recovery.”

LM senior project manager Richard Fairhurst said: “Digital design, offsite manufacturing and modular components are the enablers of innovative construction methodology – they bring greater efficiency and safety to major infrastructure projects like this, and importantly, can save months on delivery schedules. That’s great news for clients, stakeholders and local communities alike. This is the future of bridge design and delivery.”

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