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Spanish design adopted for Edgcote Viaduct

CGI of the redesigned Edgcote Viaduct
CGI of the redesigned Edgcote Viaduct

HS2 has revealed new pictures displaying the Edgcote Viaduct, which – after a structural redesign – has had its carbon footprint minimize by greater than 13% compared to the earlier design.

Set low into the panorama of west Northamptonshire, the 515-metre-long viaduct will carry the railway throughout the floodplain of the River Cherwell, south of Chipping Warden.

It’s certainly one of greater than 50 viaducts being constructed as a part of the brand new Birmingham to Outdated Oak Widespread line.

Edgcote Viaduct has been redesigned adopting the identical Spanish strategy developed for the Thame Valley Viaduct, close to Aylesbury. This lighter modular design cuts the quantity of concrete and metal required.

As an alternative of 5 beams per span, secured with concrete poured in situ, the crew will use simply two bigger ‘U’ formed beams per span, secured on to the following pair of beams. Whereas not considerably altering the peak or size of the viaduct, this structural change will scale back the variety of lorry motion and pace up building. The principle financial savings are from transport relatively than supplies.

At between six and eight meters excessive, the viaduct will likely be supported by 20 pairs of pre-cast concrete piers. From a distance, it is going to be largely hidden by current hedgerows and woodland.

Now we have the Spaniards to thank for this design. EKFB – is a consortium of Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Development and Bam Nuttall. Ferrovial firm FC Civils Options and pre-cast agency Pacadar introduced a variation to the desk for the Thames Valley viaduct based mostly on their expertise of Spanish excessive pace railways, utilizing two concrete beams per span as a substitute of the unique 4. This was checked and accepted by ASC, the three way partnership of consulting engineers Arcadis, Setec and Cowi that’s EKFB’s design guide.

Pacador, which claims credit score for the unique idea, is casting concrete elements for each the Thame Valley Viaduct and now Edgcote Viaduct at its yard at Thamesport on the Isle of Grain in north Kent. FC Civils Options has been given the construct contract for each viaducts, appearing as subcontractor to EKFB.

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This two U-beam system has been in use in Spain for a very long time. Spanish engineers needed to pioneer precast concrete options after the civil battle as a result of it had no metal trade. The Madrid-Seville excessive pace line, which opened in 1992, is all pre-cast concrete constructions with such a girder.

A U-beam lift on the Thames Valley Viaduct in October 2023
A U-beam raise on the Thames Valley Viaduct in October 2023

Paul Cooper, HS2 Ltd’s senior challenge supervisor, stated: “The success of the Thame Valley Viaduct design reveals {that a} two-beam strategy can ship dramatic carbon financial savings and pace up building – significantly for longer viaducts – so it’s nice that we’ve been capable of roll it out once more at Edgcote. ”

In addition to adjustments to the beams, the piers may even be narrower and prolonged to virtually join with the parapet edge, serving to to reinforce the looks of a light-weight and slender construction.

EKFB challenge technical lead Richard Smith stated: “In addition to important carbon financial savings, the redesign of Edgcote Viaduct additionally incorporates many well being and security advantages together with much less working at peak and fewer non permanent works related to moist trades. There are additionally advantages to the native environmental akin to decreased numbers of deliveries and actions on website, minimising the impression on native residents.“

Viaduct segments at Pacadar's precast yard in Kent
Viaduct segments at Pacadar’s precast yard in Kent

The previous couple of weeks has additionally seen progress at HS2’s different main viaducts, with the primary concrete poured for the strategy viaducts for Birmingham Curzon Avenue station, the primary viaduct beams put in at Thame Valley close to Aylesbury and the completion of beam set up at Highfurlong Brook in Northamptonshire.

In whole, HS2 is constructing greater than 500 bridging constructions – starting from small highway bridges to the three.4km Colne Valley Viaduct, which can change into the longest within the UK and just lately handed the half-way level.

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