HS2 completes first of four Delta Junction jacks


HS2 completes first of four Delta Junction jacks

Victor Buyck Steel Construction has moved the first viaduct section into place over the motorway network in North Warwickshire as part of HS2’s Delta Junction.


The contractors used a specialist push-pull technique to move the 84-metre, 300-tonne steel viaduct section into place over the westbound link road between the M6 and M42 near Coleshill.


This is the first of two moves to install the deck for HS2’s east link viaduct, which is part of the triangular Delta Junction. The second operation, in April, will create the full 158-metre long composite deck over both westbound and eastbound motorway link roads. Further work, including in-situ concrete deck works and parapets installation will be undertaken to complete the structure.


Before the end of this year, a similar two-stage operation will move the identical west link viaduct, which runs parallel to the east link viaduct.


The first east link viaduct launch takes it to its halfway position over the westbound link road. Three more steel girders will now be welded to the back of the structure and 40 precast concrete slabs will be installed on top of the girders. In April this entire structure, weighing 1,100 tonnes will then be moved to its final position over both westbound and eastbound motorway link roads.


The Belgian steelwork specialists, working to HS2’s Anglo-French main works contractor Balfour Beatty Vinci (BBV), used a proprietary push-pull jacking system to have greater flexibility during the launch operation. It was the first time that Victor Buyck has used this technique in the UK.


The team completed the move ahead of schedule in 11.5 hours during a weekend closure of the motorway link roads. The roads were re-opened at 2.35am on Sunday morning.


HS2’s head of delivery for the Birmingham end of the line, Stephen Powell, said: “Building the east link viaduct in the Delta Junction is not only a key milestone for the HS2 project in the midlands but is also critical to our earthworks mass haul strategy to keep construction traffic off the local roads.


“While we continue to construct HS2 in this area, it will provide a crossing route over the highway for construction vehicles to move excavated material from the Bromford Tunnel to other work sites in the Delta Junction, removing thousands of lorry movements from the local road network.”


Victor Buyck Steel Construction project manager Tibo Suvée said: “Our team were pleased to deliver this successful operation, which was the first time our push-pull jacking system has been used in the UK. The technique provides greater flexibility during the launching operation by allowing the bridge to be moved backwards or both ways if needed.


“This is really the first milestone of four, and over the next eight months we look forward to delivering the second launch of the east link viaduct and the same two-stage operation for the west link viaduct, which will complete these first viaducts on Delta Junction.”


The Delta Junction is made up of embankments, cuttings and a total of 13 viaducts taking new rail tracks over motorways, local roads, existing rail lines, rivers and floodplains. The viaducts include six precast segmental viaducts, four composite viaducts and three low viaducts.


The layout of the Delta Junction triangle means the railway from London curves west on a spur towards Birmingham Curzon Street Station. As trains come out of Birmingham, the line heads north to meet the main HS2 line, which will then connect to the old West Coast Main Line to Manchester. The third side of the triangle allows trains to run between London and Manchester without stopping at Birmingham.


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