The 36-metre span, 50-tonne Mabey Universal steel panel bridge was lifted into place by a 500-tonne crane during an eight-hour operation on a recent Saturday night possession at Stoney Stanton near Leicester.
The temporary bridge will maintain access to a Calor Gas depot for 13 weeks while the existing three-arch brick Wiles Bridge is demolished and rebuilt by May Gurney as a single-span pre-cast concrete structure to enable larger container freight trains to run on the two lines underneath.
The first Mabey installation was at Smiths Bridge earlier this year as part of a similar bridge upgrade on the same line. Mabey continued to work closely with May Gurney and were awarded the £88,000 contract for Wiles Bridge in July.
Mabey engineer John Thwaites said: “The site area at Wiles Bridge is quite tight. We were able to build the bridge in just three days in the compound but a traditional launch type installation was out of the question due to the restricted space.”
The bridge was lifted into place in skeleton form and then decked in a single possession, minimising installation time and disruption to the line.
May Gurney site foreman Mark Little added: “It was a busy shift but we completed the works safely and ahead of time, and now the bridge works can commence in earnest.”
The temporary bridge will be in place until late November when it will be removed during a further possession of the railway.