2,750-ton road bridge inching into place for HS2 works

The engineering operation over the M42 near the NEC in Birmingham is part of building work for the high-speed rail interchange station.

HS2 bridge installed
HS2 bridge installed

A 2,750-ton road bridge is being inched into place across a motorway over the weekend as part of HS2 building works.

Engineers are positioning the 213ft (65m) span across the M42 motorway near Birmingham Airport and the National Exhibition Centre on Saturday and Sunday.

HS2 bridge installed
The massive section is being wheeled into position over the M42 (Jacob King/PA)

The motorway has been closed for the operation but is set to reopen ahead of rush hour on Monday.

The span is the first, and largest, of four bridges which will complete the high-speed railway interchange station area, and will carry traffic from the A452 main road.

It is part of major road remodelling in the area aimed at improving traffic flows and connecting the planned station, near Solihull.

HS2 bridge installed
The bridge is one of four which will complete the HS2 railway interchange station area (Jacob King/PA)

The bridge, lifted up on giant upright modular supports on top of multi-wheeled carriages, is being manoeuvred from a specially-built siding on to the motorway.

The entire structure will be rotated through 90 degrees on to the tarmac, then slowly wheeled along the carriageway before it is lowered into position.

HS2 bridge installed
HS2 workers applauded as the bridge was moved into place (Jacob King/PA)

The motorway’s crash barriers and streetlights are having to be removed to make room for the engineering juggernaut.

The work is being carried out by Laing Murphy Joint Venture and includes components from Nottinghamshire and 1,130 tons of steel girders forming the bridge span from County Durham’s Cleveland Bridge.

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