A new bridge which will take the Channel Tunnel Rail Link over the M20 motorway in Kent was installed during two overnight road closures this weekend.
Two pre-constructed 750-tonne composite steel bridge sections, both 85 metres long, were manoeuvred into position by massive multi-wheeled trailers and jacked into place on three, six metres tall reinforced concrete piers.
Kvaerner Construction, main contractor on the Ashford section of the route, together with partner Rail Link Engineering and Jackson Civil Engineering, had just two 12-hour road closures of the busy M20 to jack the sections into position.
Built in an assembly yard beside the M20 during the last six months, the bridge sections were jacked to seven metres above ground and driven 100 metres to the centre of the road before being inched 50 metres sideways along the motorway to their final position.
Kvaerner Construction’s project director in Ashford, John Holloway, said: “Moving a structure of this size into position is technically very challenging. The bridge forms a key element of our contract and ensuring that it was moved into position during the road closures was vital.”
Alasdair Cathcart, contract manager for Rail Link Engineering, said: “This is another significant milestone achieved for Contract 430, one which supports our value engineered earthworks strategy, whereby we maximise our spoil haulage on the CTRL alignment, minimising the volume of highway movements in Ashford.”
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