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Beams installed for HS2 viaduct

A viaduct in Northamptonshire has become the first on the HS2 project to have all its deck beams installed.

Highfurlong Brook viaduct is taking shapeThey may have cancelled the northern links but construction of the abbreviated HS2 rail line between Birmingham and London continues.

The 163-metre long Highfurlong Brook viaduct, near the village of Aston le Walls, between Banbury and Daventry, is one of more than 50 viaducts being built as part of the project.

Highfurlong Brook, north of Banbury, is a tributary of the River Cherwell, which joins the Thames at Oxford. The viaduct crosses both the brook and its floodplain.

The seven-span viaduct crosses the brook at a height of around nine metres. Each span is made up of four beams weighing up to 56 tonnes. These have been lifted into position over the autumn to form the backbone of the structure.

Each beam – up to 25 metres long – was cast off site before being delivered to site by truck at night. The deck – which will support the track and electrical systems – will be installed next year, as well as the parapets.

The viaduct is one of 15 in the section being built by EKFB – a group made up of Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and Bam Nuttall. EKFB project director Sean Lang said: “We’re making considerable progress with our structures and earthworks and to see the beams lifted into position at Highfurlong Brook Viaduct is testament to the on-going collaborative effort of the Joint Venture and its supply chain partners. Utilising our network of internal access roads and on-site concrete batching plant, we’re minimising our impact on the local communities that live close to our works.” The last few weeks has also seen progress at HS2’s other viaducts, with the first concrete poured for the approach viaducts at Birmingham Curzon Street station and the first beams installed at Thame Valley near Aylesbury.

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