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Sat May 15 2021

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HS2 seeks views on Northamptonshire viaduct designs

21 Oct 20 HS2 has revealed the latest designs for the Edgcote and Lower Thorpe viaducts in Northamptonshire.

CGI of HS2's Lower Thorpe viaduct, close to Thorpe Mandeville
CGI of HS2's Lower Thorpe viaduct, close to Thorpe Mandeville

The images have been produced for a four-week online public consultation with local communities.

Set low into the landscape, the 515-metre long Edgcote viaduct will carry the high speed railway across the floodplain of the River Cherwell, south of Chipping Warden. At between six and eight metres high, the viaduct will be supported by 20 pairs of concrete piers.

The viaduct passes close to the site of the medieval Battle of Edgcote (1469, during the Wars of the Roses) on nearby Danesmoor. Initial archaeological investigation has not found any evidence of the battle; further investigation will be completed before construction begins.

Two new wildlife sites, totalling 7.6ha, will be created where the viaduct crosses the floodplain, with new and enhanced fen, marshland and meadow alongside new woodland planting.

The 210-metre long Lower Thorpe viaduct, two miles to the south, will also be set low into the landscape. Seven weathered steel spans will carry the railway across Banbury Lane just south of the village of Thorpe Mandeville.

The use of weathered steel, which ages to a dark russet brown colour, is designed to reduce the visual impact of the structure.

Three more new wildlife sites, totalling 9.5 ha, will be created near Thorpe Mandeville, including a project to enhance a small lake with new wetland meadow.

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Pier detail of Lower Thorpe viaduct (click on images to enlarge)
Pier detail of Lower Thorpe viaduct (click on images to enlarge)

HS2 project client director Ambrose McGuire said: “The start of today’s public engagement is an important step in the development of the Edgcote and Lower Thorpe viaducts. Set low into the landscape, the designs of both structures are heavily influenced by their location and our determination to reduce the impact of construction on the surrounding communities.

“That’s also why we are delivering five major new wildlife sites alongside the viaducts with significant areas of new woodland and opportunities for valuable new meadows and wetland habitats.”

The designs have been drawn up by HS2’s main works contractor EKFB – a team comprising Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial and BAM Nuttall – working with design partners Arcadis and architect Moxon.

EKFB technical director Janice McKenna said:  “It is a huge privilege to be responsible for the design and delivery of these two viaducts and to create a legacy for future generations. EKFB is using innovative, digital techniques to create designs that meet the needs of the future railway, while balancing the community, environmental and engineering requirements of designing lasting infrastructure. Our design solutions are created with people in mind and we are using construction methods that limit the impact on residents.”

The online public engagement event is now open and lasts for four weeks.

The 515-metre long Edgcote viaduct
The 515-metre long Edgcote viaduct

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