First completed sections of HS2 Curzon Street station viaduct revealed

First completed section of Curzon 3 viaduct- image: HS2

The first completed sections of HS2’s Curzon Street station viaduct have been revealed.

The completed sections mark the next step on the programme to build a series of viaducts to carry the railway through Birmingham’s industrial heartland and into the city centre.

High speed trains will travel out of the west portal of the 3.5 mile Bromford Tunnel at Washwood Heath and onto a one mile long stretch of connected viaducts through Duddeston, and cross over the Birmingham to Derby railway, Lawley Middleway and Digbeth Canal.

On the approach into Birmingham, the five viaducts are Duddeston, Curzon 1, Curzon 2, Lawley Middleway and Curzon 3 - which links to Curzon Street station.

The completed six metre-high sections of the Curzon 3 viaduct are where the structures widen from a single deck to four separate decks, spanning 65 metres at the widest point, to carry the tracks to the Curzon Street station platforms.

The viaducts are being built by HS2’s Midlands contractor Balfour Beatty VINCI, with a team of more than 200 people including specially trained joiners, steel fixers and scaffolders from the local area, including five apprentices.

Since the concrete pour for the first Curzon 3 viaduct decks started in November last year, the site team have completed all the deck work, attached the parapets and removed the shuttering and scaffolding to reveal the finished Curzon 3 deck concrete sections.

In total, 3,700 cubic metres of concrete have been poured to make the four individual sections of the Curzon 3 viaduct, that will connect to the future station platforms. 

So far 88 concrete parapets have been installed, creating the side barriers of the viaduct.

A total of 176 parapets are needed for the entire Curzon 3 structure, each measuring between 1.6m and 2.9m high and weighing between four and five tonnes each.

Stephen Powell, HS2’s head of delivery, said: “It’s fantastic to see the first sections of this viaduct revealed, giving a clear view of how HS2 trains will approach Birmingham city centre. 

“Now visible, you can see how the separate deck sections maximise daylight underneath, and the V-shaped piers take up less room at ground level, providing opportunities for a usable public space that will add to the life of the city.”

Georgios Markakis, section manager at Balfour Beatty VINCI, added: “We’re entering a really exciting phase of the project now, as this iconic viaduct in the centre of Birmingham begins to take shape. These images revealed by HS2 demonstrate the enormous progress we’re making at our Curzon Street site.

“Using this momentum, we’re currently installing four parapets each day, while following the same process to complete the remaining deck spans, which we expect to finish in 2026.”

The viaducts are designed by a design joint venture of Mott MacDonald and SYSTRA with architects Weston Williamson + Partners, all working for Balfour Beatty VINCI.

Further sections of the Curzon 3 viaduct will be built in the same way.

Later this year, the construction of the span over Digbeth Canal will start using jacks to slide 34 temporary steel girders, each measuring 38 metres long, below the four steel tripods to support the falsework and formwork, necessary for the deck construction.

The large arched span over Lawley Middleway is made from weathering steel girders and is currently being built on the site.

It will be moved into place over the road during a series of short night-time road closures in the summer. Building it in this way drastically cuts disruption to road users.


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