New HS2 viaduct has been approved in Birmingham


New HS2 viaduct has been approved in Birmingham

It will be the tallest structure in a sequence of viaducts in HS2’s approach to Birmingham. A 25-metre-high truss will be included as part of the viaduct development, creating a new feature in the Birmingham skyline.  


A gently curved truss made of weathering steel will be included in the HS2 viaduct. The bridge will be around 40 meters tall, with a minimum clearance of 17 meters. The viaduct has been designed to include three parallel high-speed rail tracks.  


This will allow trains to travel over the existing east-west rail line. The tracks will diverge further to accommodate the construction of seven new platforms at the station. 


“We’re thrilled that Birmingham City Council has approved our design for the Curzon No.2 Viaduct, which marks another significant milestone for the HS2 project in the West Midlands,” said HS2 Ltd’s design director, Kay Hughes. 



Artwork by British artist Liz West will be included on the apertures of the steel truss. 


“We took an ambitious approach to create an iconic structure for the city, working with leading contemporary artist Liz West and our architects to create a distinctive light installation that will fit the Birmingham skyline,” commented Hughes.  


The truss bridge will be built from connected elements that form triangular units that make it light and strong. It will also be constructed from a relatively small amount of material. The truss will wrap around the viaduct, extending the steel to wrap underneath the viaduct deck.


This will form a connection to the steel girders of the adjacent structures. To ensure the durability of the steelwork and enhance the bridge’s silhouette, the nodes where the diagonal members intersect will feature gently curved corners. 


HS2 Ltd has recently adopted a new offsite approach to constructing the Thame Valley viaduct. In contrast to conventional methods, the Thame Valley viaduct project will employ large pre-cast beams that can be directly connected, eliminating the need for a cast-in-situ concrete diaphragm above each pier.  


This approach offers numerous advantages, including improved durability, reliability, time savings, cost reductions, and enhanced safety by minimising work at heights. 


Trains leaving Birmingham towards HS2’s Washwood Heath Depot will cross the truss bridge. This site will maintain, service, and store HS2 trains when not in use. It will also create 500 long-term jobs for local people. 


“This is great news for the team delivering this section of the railway in Birmingham. Our job now is to start construction of the bridge on the ground before launching it into its final position over the existing Victorian brick rail viaduct at around 17 metres above the ground. This is an exciting construction method, which we believe will be among the longest bridge launches of its type ever delivered in the UK,” concluded senior project manager for HS2 Ltd, David King. 


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