Temporary bridge reduces impact on local community during HS2 construction

Temporary HS2 bridge takes 10,000 vehicles off local roads during first year.

A temporary access bridge which has been put in place during the construction of the 3.4km Colne Valley Viaduct – a key part of the HS2 route - has already taken more than 10,000 vehicle journeys off local roads in its first year of operation.

The temporary structure, which runs alongside what will become the UK’s longest viaduct, allows construction vehicles to cross a series of lakes and waterways near Denham on the outskirts of London – rather than local community roads being disrupted.

The 800m long temporary bridge, completed in February 2022, is also used to get equipment out to where the viaduct’s piers are being built in the lake.

Lorries making deliveries to site all arrive from the M25 and follow a 6km internal access route via HS2’s South Portal construction site. 

And having the ability to use the temporary bridge instead of using local roads is significantly reducing the impact on the local community during construction.

Billy Ahluwalia, HS2 Ltd’s senior project manager, said that while The Colne Valley Viaduct will form a key part of the HS2 route – helping to deliver better connections across the UK, free up rail capacity on the existing train network, and offer passengers zero carbon travel options, it was also essential to reduce the impact on communities during construction. 

“That’s why I’m delighted to see that the temporary access road has taken so many vehicle journeys off local roads in its first year of operation,” he said. 

The temporary bridge was built by HS2’s main works contractor Align JV – a team made up of Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine and VolkerFitzpatrick, working with specialist subcontractors KVJV, Kilnbridge, VSL, Tarmac, VPH and Volker Stevin, who are constructing the Colne Valley Viaduct.

Derek van Rensberg, Align’s surface operations director, said: “We are making good progress constructing the Colne Valley Viaduct, and by completing the temporary access road with bridges over the lakes, I am delighted that it has resulted in a significant number of vehicles being taken off local roads, thereby minimising the impact of our activities on the local community.”  

Construction of the HS2 project is ramping up across the UK, with almost 30,000 jobs now supported by the project.

Construction of the Colne Valley Viaduct is now well underway, with all the foundation piling for the 56 piers and two abutments now complete.

The main deck of the viaduct is being built using a ‘launching girder’. 

The 160m long bridge-building machine is the only one of its kind operating in the UK and is used to lift the giant concrete deck segments that form the viaduct’s arches into position, which are being cast in a purpose-built temporary factory at the nearby South Portal site.

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