M1 closed for in­stal­la­tion of new bridge

Loughborough Echo - - LETTERS -

A BRIDGE weigh­ing al­most 1,200 tonnes of con­crete and steel was suc­cess­fully launched across the M1 at the week­end.

The bridge - when it opens in au­tumn 2018 - will form part of the Keg­worth By­pass and should re­duce the amount of traf­fic and HGVs trav­el­ling through the his­toric vil­lage by around 60 per cent.

It forms part of the wider in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments be­ing made as part of SEGRO Lo­gis­tics Park East Mid­lands Gate­way, the 700-acre ‘in­land port’ which com­bines links to the M1 and East Mid­lands Air­port. It will also in­clude a 50-acre rail freight ter­mi­nal and is set to cre­ate around 7,000 jobs.

The project team from SEGRO, Rox­hill and Buck­ing­ham Group Con­tract­ing Ltd worked closely with High­ways Eng­land and lo­cal coun­cils as well as the emer­gency ser­vices and teams at East Mid­lands Air­port to en­sure the smooth run­ning of the op­er­a­tion which saw the M1 close from junc­tions 23A to junction 24.

The size and scale of the bridge, along with the con­fines of the air­port, re­quired a spe­cial­ist type of heavy plant trans­porter, known as a self-pro­pelled mod­u­lar trans­porter (SPMT), to move the bridge, rather than a tra­di­tional crane.

The bridge was con­structed in a mod­u­lar fash­ion, on site next to the M1 with the steel sec­tions be­ing trans­ported from Cleve­land Bridge UK lim­ited based in Dar­ling­ton.

In the weeks lead­ing up to the launch of the bridge, al­ter­ations were made to the M1 which in­cluded fill­ing in the cen­tral reser­va­tion and re­mov­ing street fur­ni­ture to en­able a clear path for the bridge to be driven over the mo­tor­way by the SPMT.

In the late hours of Fri­day, May 11, the sec­tion of the mo­tor­way was closed and the diver­sion was put in place, the equip­ment moved into place and so be­gan the start of the race against time to get the struc­ture across the mo­tor­way.

Through­out Satur­day, the bridge was ma­noeu­vred over the mo­tor­way with en­gi­neers con­duct­ing pre­ci­sion checks and bal­ances through­out the process with fi­nal ad­just­ments made prior to the bridge deck land­ing on the bear­ings.

An­drew Pilsworth, SEGRO’s busi­ness unit di­rec­tor, na­tional lo­gis­tics, said: “The suc­cess­ful in­stal­la­tion is the re­sult of an ex­ten­sive pro­gramme of plan­ning and co­or­di­na­tion with our part­ners, and we thank them for their on­go­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion and sup­port.

“We would also like to thank all mo­torists who ex­pe­ri­enced de­lays to their jour­ney over the week­end for their pa­tience and un­der­stand­ing.”

Work to put a new Keg­worth By­pass bridge place over the M1 near East Mid­lands Air­port. Pho­tos by Chris­tian Smith.

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