This weekend, Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, demolished the Woodlands Lane Bridge which stretches the M3 motorway between junctions 2 and 3, in Windlesham, Surrey,marking the first phase of works to replace the integral bridge. An option to strengthen the existing bridge was considered before the decision was taken to demolish and rebuild it.
The demolition of the concrete bridge forms part of a wider £174 million improvement scheme which Balfour Beatty is delivering on behalf of Highways England to reduce congestion on this vital route between London, the south coast and the Solent ports.
The controlled demolition was carried out using a variety of methods to break up the structure and protect the carriageway beneath, including the installation of plywood protection, 150mm of timber mats and a further 600mm of crushed concrete. Unfolding geotextile curtains were used to contain the dust and rubble when the bridge fell on to the protected area of the road.
Over 250 engineers, construction and support workers delivered the project which was carried out in the early hours of Saturday morning to minimise the impact on road users. The work was completed on time and the carriageway reopened ahead of schedule.
This section of the M3 is used to make more than 130,000 journeys every day. Once work to convert it into a smart motorway is complete road users will benefit from an extra lane in both directions, increasing capacity by a third and the use of technology to vary speed limits and make the road more resilient to disruption.
Stephen Tarr, Managing Director for Balfour Beatty said, "I am delighted that the work went according to plan in spite of the poor weather conditions, safely, on time and the carriageway was reopened ahead of schedule.
"The bridge demolition and its subsequent replacement will help ensure that people, communities and businesses remain connected as part of the strategically important upgrading of the M3 motorway between junctions 2 and 4A that is nearing completion".
Balfour Beatty is due to complete work on the M3 in summer 2017.
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Notes to editors:
- Balfour Beatty (www.balfourbeatty.com) is a leading international infrastructure group. With 34,000 employees, we provide innovative and efficient infrastructure that underpins our daily lives, supports communities and enables economic growth. We finance, develop, build and maintain complex infrastructure such as transportation, power and utility systems, social and commercial buildings.
Our main geographies are the UK, US, Middle East and South East Asia. Over the last 100 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including the London Olympics’ Aquatic Centre, Hong Kong’s first Zero Carbon building, the world’s biggest shopping mall in Dubai, the National Museum of the Marine Corps in the US and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
- Balfour Beatty is a leading road designer, constructor, asset manager and maintenance provider in the UK. Projects carried out include traditional work through to the more complex design-build-finance-operate (DBFO), smart motorway and early contractor involvement (ECI) schemes.
Balfour Beatty’s current portfolio of major road schemes includes the £292m A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme, the £745m Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and Balmedie/Tipperty project, the £129m M3 J2 to J4a Smart Motorway scheme, the £55m M25 Junction 30 Upgrade Scheme and the £44m A1 Lobley Hill scheme.
Since 2009 Balfour Beatty has been working in partnership with Skanska, Atkins and Egis delivering the 30 year £6.2 billion M25 DBFO project for Highways England, including the widening of the motorway to four lanes and conversion to ‘smart’ technology; and the 30-year £550 million Aberdeen and North East Scotland road improvement project in consortium with Carillion and Galliford Try.
Caption: Controlled demolition of the Woodlands Lane bridge