A major step forward for the King’s Dyke rail and road project has been captured in some stunning pictures, which show 420 tonnes of bridge beams being lifted into place.
The railway bridge, which goes over the Ely to Peterborough railway line on the A605, is the largest structure in the King’s Dyke level crossing scheme which also includes a road bypass as well as an underpass for a private access road.
Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK, the contractor appointed by Cambridgeshire County Council, used a 1,000 tonne mobile crane to move the six 33m-long, 70 tonne beams into place last weekend (Saturday 22 May).
Together, the 420-tonne total weight is equivalent to three times that of the Statue of Liberty in New York.
Construction manager at Jones Bros, Rhydian Hafal, said: “It’s really satisfying to see a big part of a project like this go from the drawing board and onto the ground.
“Moving parts for structures of this size requires co-ordinated working to a strict timetable as the railway was closed for a set window, with the team working with absolute precision to achieve it.
“Following the beam lift, the team managed to maximise use of the time available while the railway was closed to install the precast concrete units that sit along the edge of the outer beams, alongside other components. This means we can now concentrate on constructing the deck.”
Cllr Peter McDonald, chair of the Highways and Transport Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council said: “It’s great to hear the team successfully installed the beams last weekend and another milestone on this project has been achieved.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their patience particularly when the road was closed for short periods while the beams were transported. I’d urge everyone to check out the impressive timelapse footage to see the beams being lifted into place.”
Work on other elements of the project, which began in May 2020, has also been progressing well. The partial filling of Star Pit, the former quarry which adjoins the site, has progressed to the point where the whole area being filled is now above the quarry’s water line.
The scheme is due to open to traffic by the end of 2022.