Construction News

Sun July 21 2019

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Graham starts Olympic Park bridge

8 Jul Graham has been awarded a £3.5m contract to build a footbridge that will link the planned new £1.1bn East Bank culture and education district on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to International Quarter London.

CGI of the East Bank development on Stratford waterfront
CGI of the East Bank development on Stratford waterfront

Graham will build Carpenters Land Bridge on behalf of the London Legacy Development Corporation. It is one of the first of 27 packages to be let for the East Bank development.

Graham’s civil engineering team will design and install a 66-metre long steel bridge, formed of a portal frame and bearings, a concrete cill beam and bearings within an existing retaining wall structure and will cross Network Rail and Docklands Light Railway lines.

The mayor of London’s office granted planning permission last week for the 4.25 hectare site which will see new buildings for Sadler’s Wells dance theatre, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) including a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, the BBC and a new campus for University of the Arts London: London College of Fashion. There will also be a new campus for University College London (UCL).

The £1.1bn scheme is receiving £385m funding from the mayor of London and £151m funding from central government. Work will be completed in phases with Sadler’s Wells, UCL and UAL’s London College of Fashion opening their buildings first in 2022, and then BBC and the V&A in 2023, along with UCL’s second building on its UCL East campus. 

Graham is looking to use self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) units to install the bridge from below rather than a large crane to lift it in to place. It said that this would provide ‘greater certainty to the installation’, which is due to take place in late 2019.

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The bridge deck will be transported on the SPMTs along the carriageway in a jacked up position of about six or seven metres above ground level.  The bridge will not be balanced in the centre of the SPMT as the carriageway is close to one side of the abutments, so 400-tonne ballasted will be added as counterweight. It will then be transported to site and during a rail position will be rotated and dropped in on top of a cill beam and portal frame, at either end of the bridge.

Graham will also provide drainage works to the bridge’s deck, provision of bonding and lightning protection, and installation of a waterproofing system. 

The project has now started and is due to be completed in spring 2020.

Leo Martin, managing director of Graham’s civil engineering division, said:  “We are pleased to have been chosen as the contractor to deliver the Carpenters Land Bridge on behalf of LLDC. Our vast experience of delivering similar schemes and our excellent relationship and track record of partnership working will ensure we are able to deliver the scheme effectively.

“When complete, the new bridge will provide a connection from the new East Bank to the International Quarter, providing residents with direct access to Stratford Waterfront and the hub of commercial activity in the area.”

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