Starting on Wednesday (7 October), over 3 days, 8 steel beams will be put in place across the river Chelmer. The 35m long, 52 tonne beams are the largest used in the project and mark a key milestone as they will form the new bridge deck for the new viaduct over the river.
Highways England project manager, Alistair Stout, said:
This is a significant milestone for the scheme and a complex piece of engineering.
Large cranes will be used to lift and install the steel beams weighing up to 52 tonnes each which has taken a large amount of planning with our contractors, GRAHAM Construction.
While the work is offline, we are close to the existing road and drivers will notice the work going on. The steel beams will be arriving under a special order during the night to minimise disruption but we’d urge road users not to get distracted while we carry out this vital work.
The new viaduct will be built alongside the existing bridge to ensure continuous access for road users whilst the major work to increase capacity along the Chelmer Viaduct takes place. The old viaduct will be demolished at a later date.
This £28 million investment involves the construction of the new viaduct and the demolition of the existing viaduct, including 3 lanes of carriageway and a shared footway and cycleway.
Once completed in winter 2016, this Highways England project will reduce congestion and make the route safer.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.