Two key design-and-construct Railtrack awards, together worth nearly £10 million, have been won by Kvaerner Construction.
The first is a £6 million partnering project to replace two ageing bridges carrying the East Coast Main Line at Newark Dyke, Nottinghamshire, with a single structure designed for the next generation of high-speed trains.
The second will provide new rail links to improve services between Halifax and Huddersfield. Work on both schemes is now starting.
At Newark Dyke, in one of the UK’s biggest single railbridge reconstruction projects this century, Kvaerner Construction is preparing to slide out a pair of Victorian steel girder bridges carrying the up and down lines and slide in a twin-track bow-string girder bridge capable of carrying trains at speeds of up to 140 mph.
The critical operation has to be carried out within a 72-hour period over August Bank Holiday next year (2000). To minimise disruption, the new bridge will be jacked into place, complete with concrete decking, ballast and track - a total weight of some 1,200 tonnes.
Using hydraulic strand jacks, the old and new structures will be shifted along special low-friction slide tracks at a rate of up to 4.5 metres an hour. After sliding out the old bridges, part of the existing abutments will be demolished to make way for the new 77 metre span bridge.
Kvaerner Cleveland Bridge will be fabricating 800 tonnes of permanent steelwork for the structure and Kvaerner Cementation Foundations will be responsible for all ground engineering works. Cass Hayward & Partners and CEDG are undertaking the design on the scheme, which is due to be completed by the end of 2000.
This project is the first of a new breed of partnering contracts with Railtrack’s London North-East zone, involving cost-integrated teamworking.
In West Yorkshire, Kvaerner Construction is renewing long-disused lines to re-open direct rail links between Halifax and Huddersfield for the first time in more than a decade.
Two 1.5 miles long curved stretches, or chordlines, are being restored which will reduce travelling times and mean passengers will no longer have to change trains at Leeds. The year-long contract involves renovation and repairs to two tunnels, seven bridges and other structures along the route, including a five-span viaduct over the River Calder.
Commenting, Alan Tweddle, managing director of Kvaerner Construction’s UK-Civil sector said "With these further awards, rail related projects now represent 43% of our work in hand. In awarding Kvaerner the Newark Dyke contract, Railtrack undertook a comprehensive and rigorous examination of our design methodology and similar experience in undertaking other complex and demanding projects.
"The award of Halifax to Huddersfield marks another major milestone in our relationship with Railtrack, as it establishes our infrastructure as well as civil engineering capabilities."
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