A 3.4km viaduct is being built across a series of lakes in the Colne Valley to carry the HS2 rail link in the outskirts of London
The first pier has been cast by specialist contractor Kilnbridge for HS2’s main works contractor Align JV – a team made up of Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine and VolkerFitzpatrick.
Weighing in at around 370 tonnes, the six-metre tall reinforced concrete pier was cast in situ.
Each pier rests on a set of concrete piles sunk up to 55 metres into the ground. The foundation work began earlier this year and will require the construction of 292 piles and 56 pile caps across the whole length of the viaduct.
HS2 Ltd project client David Emms said: “The Colne Valley Viaduct will be one of HS2’s most iconic structures and it’s great to see how much has been achieved already. I’d like to thank the whole team for the huge amount of work they’ve done to get us to this point.”
Align project director Daniel Altier added: “I have no doubt that the viaduct will become one, if not the most striking element of HS2 phase one, once complete. The way it will be constructed is going to be equally fascinating for engineers young and old. The sections for the deck will be fabricated at our main construction site to the west of London just inside the M25, and using a huge launching girder, the deck will be formed from north to south, along the line of the route, thereby keeping unnecessary construction traffic off the roads.”