HS2 begins foundation works for key A43 bridge

Piling rig at work on the site of the A43 overbridge - image: HS2

HS2 has begun foundation works for a key bridge that will take a major A road over the new high-speed railway just outside Brackley in Northamptonshire. 

The work comes after the successful completion of temporarily realigning both carriageways.

The A43 – which links Oxford, Brackley and Northampton – is a vital route, providing access to Silverstone and connections between the M40 and M1.

Just two weekend closures were needed during the seven-month realignment project, with HS2 working closely with National Highways to create an island between the two carriageways big enough for the construction of the new bridge deck.

HS2 engineers have now begun work on the 52m deep piled foundation that will support the weight of the bridge. These will be topped with concrete pile caps and piers supporting the 66-metre-long bridge deck that will carry the road.

Once the deck has been completed, the road will be moved back over the new bridge and excavation can begin to create space for the railway to pass underneath. This multi-stage approach was designed to keep traffic flowing and reduce disruption.

HS2’s senior project manager, Elizabeth Longinotti said: “It’s great to see the start of foundation works for the A43 overbridge.

"Once complete, HS2 will boost connections between Britain’s two largest cities while freeing up space for more local services on the existing network. 

“But it’s also vital that we keep the local routes which people depend on open while we build the railway.

“That’s why we’ve worked closely with National Highway and our contractors to design and deliver a complex multi-stage project which will keep disruption to a minimum while we deliver this key overbridge.”

The almost 80km stretch of railway that passes Brackley – including the A43 bridge – is being delivered by HS2’s main works contractor EKFB, a team made up of Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall – working with ASC (a joint venture between Arcadis, Setec and COWI).

They worked with National Highways and EKFS’s sub-contractor, Kier Highways, to construct the temporary realignment over a seven-month period last year.

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