More than 100 contractors from Highways England worked from 10pm on Christmas Eve until the early hours on Bank Holiday Monday to complete the major engineering project. The first freight train travelled over the bridge at 5am this morning (Wednesday 30 December).
The bridge will allow vehicles to travel on a new road under the railway line, between the A160 Humber Road and Rosper Road, on their way to the port. A YouTube video showing it being slid under the railway line is available.
The work marks a major milestone in a £88.4 million Highways England project to improve access to one of the UK’s busiest ports, as part of the government’s 5 year Road Investment Strategy.
The scheme includes upgrading a 3 mile section of the A160 between the A180 and the port to a dual carriageway along its entire length. Improvements are also being made to junctions along the route, including a new roundabout at the junction with the A180 and a new bridge over the A160 on Town Street.
Roads Minister Andrew Jones said:
This impressive engineering feat is an important step towards improving access to this major UK port and is part of the government’s record £15 billion road investment strategy.
Immingham is vital to the regional and national economy, and the government is determined that both thrive as part of our long-term economic plan. I look forward to the completed road scheme supporting the port’s continued growth, improving the lives of those in the surrounding communities and boosting connectivity across the UK.
In a complex piece of engineering, the bridge was slid into position by 4 hydraulic jacks weighing more than 5 tonnes each, once 20,000 tonnes of earth had been removed from the existing railway embankment. The team worked with 40 and 20 tonne excavators, 35 tonne long-reach excavators, a bulldozer and 8 dump trucks.
Construction of the bridge started in July, and has taken around 100,000 working hours to complete.
Highways England Project Manager Ben Ridgeon said:
Our contractors did a fantastic job of making sure this complex engineering project was a success while the rest of the country was tucking into Christmas dinner.
We needed to carry out the work over the festival season while the railway line was closed for other work, and worked closely with Network Rail and local stakeholders to make sure the scheme was a success.
The new road under the railway will allow us to create a one-way system on the way to and from the port, significantly increasing capacity and improving access.
The Port of Immingham is the UK’s largest port by tonnage and handles up to 55 million tonnes of goods every year, including nearly 20 million tonnes of oil and 10 million tonnes of coal.
More than 100 abnormal loads currently travel along the A160 each month. These include wind turbines, which arrive at the port before being transported to locations around the country.
Simon Bird, Humber Director at the port’s owner Associated British Ports (ABP), said:
Immingham is the UK’s busiest port and currently contributes £460 million to the regional economy every year.
As such, connectivity is crucial and these improvements will facilitate traffic flow and will have a positive impact on freight movements, which will in turn ensure the future success of the port.
The Port of Immingham road improvement project began in March and is due to be completed in autumn 2016. More details on the scheme, including a computer-generated video showing how the upgraded road will look, are available at the road project website.
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.