New photos of giant bridge beams being lifted over one of the country’s main railway lines have been released by Highways England, as the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme successfully reaches yet another milestone.
The photos, which were taken during the night, early on Sunday 19 November, show two pairs of twin steel girders weighing 100 tonnes each being lifted by a 500-tonne, giant crawler crane with back up support from a 100-tonne mobile crane.
The work, which happened during a four-hour closure of the railway line between 2 and 6am last Sunday, was completed with one hour to spare, after the railway’s overhead power lines were isolated and protected during the tricky manoeuver.
The steel beams will be joined by another three over the coming weeks and will form part of the bridge that will carry the new, 6-lane (three in each direction) A14 Huntingdon bypass over the East Coast Mainline once the 21-mile, £1.5bn A14 upgrade project is completed by the end of 2020.
A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon project director for Highways England, David Bray, said:
The successful installation of the first two bridge beams over the East Coast mainline is the culmination of two years of planning and the fact that the team was able to do this in around three hours is a credit to the level of expertise at our disposal on this project.
We’ve just marked our first year of construction and we’re a quarter of the way into our programme already. The improvements we are delivering between Cambridge and Huntingdon are vital for the local area and for the country’s economy. We set out to deliver world leading infrastructure improvements a year ago, this is exactly what we have been doing so far and we look forward to continuing to deliver our challenging programme in record time.