- 4,000 tonne two-span bridge over M42 removed quicker than anticipated in a planned 56 hour operation
- The motorway was re-opened 14 hours ahead of schedule
- Specialist Solihull-based firm Armac Demolition completed the work
Working on behalf of Balfour Beatty VINCI, a team of 20 demolition experts from Solihull-based firm Armac Demolition have worked 24/7 to remove a 4,000 tonne two-span bridge over the M42 to make way for the HS2 railway in the West Midlands.
The team used eight 50 tonne excavators and two 40 tonne excavators to remove the 40 metre long, 10 metre wide bridge during a planned 56 hour closure of the motorway. Six articulated dumper trucks transported the excavated material to a local stockpile where it will be crushed and reused on HS2’s haul roads and working areas.
The whole job was completed sooner than anticipated, which meant the M42 could be reopened 14 hours ahead of schedule, shortening the closure to 42 hours and reducing disruption to road users.
Armac was working for HS2’s civils contractor Balfour Beatty VINCI to deliver the operation during the closure of the M42 near HS2’s Interchange Station construction site in Solihull.
HS2 Ltd and Balfour Beatty VINCI worked closely with National Highways and their supply chain to enable the demolition works, with all existing motorway technology diverted or removed prior to the demolition. In the last year, Balfour Beatty VINCI have also diverted power and telecommunications cables away from the structure ahead of the demolition.
The bridge, which carried the A452 over the M42, was removed to allow for a new twin box structure to be constructed, which will carry the high speed line over the motorway in the future. HS2 has built a new, improved road structure and roundabout which now carries the A452, and in future will also enable access to the new HS2 Interchange Station.
Oliver Shore, Construction Director at Balfour Beatty VINCI said: “It is through relentless collaboration with HS2 and National Highways that we have achieved this latest milestone in less than two days, overcoming technical and logistical challenges along the way.
“The demolition of the existing M42 bridge will kickstart the next phase of works, with our attention now turning to the construction of the new twin box structure which is designed to carry Britain’s new zero carbon railway – HS2 – over the motorway.”
Ian Clarke, Senior Project Manager at HS2 Ltd said: “This is another fantastic milestone for our civils team in the West Midlands, as construction of HS2 moves on at pace. The team did a brilliant job to get the demolition finished way ahead of schedule, meaning the motorway could be reopened much earlier than anticipated.”
“In this region, over 9,750 people are working on the many complex and exciting feats of engineering to build HS2 over the existing network of roads, railways, rivers and canals - creating our new zero carbon railway to connect London, the Midlands and the North.”
National Highways Senior Network Planner, Frank Bird said: “We’d like to thank motorists for their patience while the work took place and for following our diversion routes during the closure.
“This bridge demolition was a really big project and we have worked closely with HS2 over the past few months to plan the closure of the M42 and to try and limit disruption during the work.
“Given the complexity of the work involved, we’re really pleased to see the work completed ahead of time and it’s testament to the hard work of those involved that we could open the road earlier than planned.”
Noel McLean, Technical Director from Solihull-based Armac Demolition said: ‘’Armac were delighted to be working again in collaboration with our HS2 partners Balfour Beatty VINCI on the first of three major bridge demolition projects in this section. The detailed planning that had been put into the project over the last 12 months by Balfour Beatty VINCI and Armac resulted in an excellent performance over the weekend.
“A safely executed project, completed well ahead of the closure schedule, and not a single mark on the carriageway. Great performance by all involved - looking forward to the next one.”
From the full closure of the M42 at 00.25 on Saturday 12 August, a team of 30 people removed the motorway vehicle restraint system and installed protective matting. The 20-strong demolition team then moved in to remove the bridge deck, wing walls, central pier and abutments between 07.30 and 17.00 on Saturday 12 August.
The matting was removed, carriageway cleaned, and central reservation and verge restraint systems reinstated, ready for the motorway to be re-opened at 15.00 on Sunday 13 August.
Coming up next, the Balfour Beatty VINCI team will now start to construct the huge twin box structure, which will carry HS2 trains over the M42. The structure, measuring 300 metres length by 25 metres width will cover around 130 metres of the M42 and will be built in position whilst maintaining three lanes of traffic flowing on the M42.
Media enquiries to:
All non-media related enquiries should be directed to +44 (0)20 7216 6800 or email@example.com
Notes to editors:
- Balfour Beatty is a leading international infrastructure group with 25,000 employees driving the delivery of powerful new solutions, shaping thinking, creating skylines and inspiring a new generation of talent to be the change-makers of tomorrow.
- We finance, develop, build, maintain and operate the increasingly complex and critical infrastructure that supports national economies and deliver projects at the heart of local communities.
- Over the last 114 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world. Currently, we are working to deliver Hinkley Point C, the first UK nuclear power station in a generation; constructing the world-class arts and cultural facility, the Lyric Theatre, in Hong Kong; and designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining the Automated People Mover superstructure at the fifth busiest airport in the world, Los Angeles International Airport.
Balfour Beatty VINCI removes bridge over M42