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Crown Plus | Crown Plus works across the sectors to provide sustainable travel solutions



Crown Plus Ltd, a rising Shropshire based specialist Drainage Survey and Civil Engineering company has been pivotal in the restoration and re-opening of Bennerley Viaduct.

The viaduct is a grade 2* listed railway viaduct built in 1877 in Nottingham by the Great Northern Railway Company. At over quarter of a mile long, it is the longest wrought iron viaduct in the country straddling the River Erewash connecting Ilkeston in Derbyshire with Awsworth in Nottinghamshire. Historic England consider the viaduct is a “stunning example of the genius of British Engineering”.

The restoration supports the UK’s sustainable travel objectives by providing safe public access across the bridge, joining a network of existing public cycle and footpaths.

The Viaduct was closed in 1968, after which it fell into disrepair, eventually it was sold to conservation group Railway Paths Ltd in 2001. Small stages of restoration were carried out in mid-2014 with planning requested for the provision of wooden decking along the extent of Bennerley Viaduct to allow for safe public access across the bridge and the reconnection to a network of existing public cycling and walking paths. In 2020, Bennerley Viaduct, fondly known as the “Iron Giant” was 1 of 25 sites listed within the 2020 World Monuments Watch, selected for their cultural significance, with the story of its restoration being covered by the BBC and local news outlets.

Railway Paths awarded the contract to Crown Plus in early 2021 to install the new bridge deck as well as the construction of access steps and resurfacing works to eastern approach ramp, which would allow its reopening to the public. Works commenced in September 2021, concluding in January when the bridge was finally re-opened to the public on 13 January 2022.

Gary Price, Co-founder and Construction Director said of the scheme:

“It has been an absolute honour to be involved in this latest programme of restoration and conservation works seeing the ‘Iron Giant’ brought back to its former glory and being enjoyed again by the public, some 54 years after its closure.

“The scheme showcases Crown Plus’s experience in the civil engineering sector with our ability to understand and deliver on client objectives. It was a true privilege to work with Railway Paths and utilise our experience to provide a tailored solutions to this historic structure.”

Paul Thomas of Railway Paths Ltd said:

“It was a pleasure to work with the Crown Plus team on one of our most high-profile projects to date, the re-opening of the historic Bennerley Viaduct.

“This was a one-off project, to a unique structure and as usual there were tight budget and time constraints. Crown Plus fully understood the nature of the project and the constraints and worked closely with us, the client team, to find the best set of solutions. I felt we worked as a truly collaborative unit and as a result we achieved all we needed despite external setbacks outside our control. On top of this I personally observed that the site was well managed, safe working procedures were always followed and communication from site was always both prompt and clear.

“In addition, the site team maintained a professional and friendly approach with the vast number of interested parties that was an understandable a constant feature of this job.”

For more information on this restoration project and Crown Plus please visit www.Crown-Plus.co.uk

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