Early on Sunday 19th November, Ainscough used a 500-tonne class lattice boom Demag CC2500-1 crawler crane with support from a 100-tonne telescopic boom Liebherr LTM1100-2 wheeled all-terrain crane to lift two pairs of twin steel girders into place.
Each girder weighed 100 tonnes. The Demag crawler crane was rigged with 104 tonnes of counterweight and 44 metres of main boom.
The work took place during a four-hour closure of the railway line between 2am and 6am last Sunday. It was completed with one hour to spare, after the railway’s overhead power lines were isolated and protected during the operation.
The steel beams will be joined by another three over the coming weeks. Together they will form part of the bridge that will carry the six-lane (three in each direction) A14 Huntingdon bypass over the East Coast Mainline once the 21-mile A14 upgrade project is completed by the end of 2020.
The £1.5bn A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme is being delivered on behalf of Highways England by a joint venture of four UK contractors and two design consultants: Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain and Skanska and for design, Atkins and CH2M. The delivery team is known as the A14 Integrated Delivery Team.
The upgrade features the construction of 34 bridges and structures, including the 750-metre long River Great Ouse viaduct.
Highways England project director David Bray said: “The successful installation of the first two bridge beams over the East Coast Mainline is the culmination of two years of planning and the fact that the team was able to do this in around three hours is a credit to the level of expertise at our disposal on this project.
“We’ve just marked our first year of construction and we’re a quarter of the way into our programme already. The improvements we are delivering between Cambridge and Huntingdon are vital for the local area and for the country’s economy. We set out to deliver world leading infrastructure improvements a year ago, this is exactly what we have been doing so far and we look forward to continuing to deliver our challenging programme in record time.”