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Winvic Construction Ltd has announced it has successfully lifted eight railway beams into place over the A5, 2km north of the M1 J18.

This is one of three bridges which Winvic is constructing for Prologis at DRIFT III in Northamptonshire, as part of a £29M contract to deliver a new state of the art Intermodal Rail Freight Terminal.

The A5 railway link bridge, which will carry two tracks, has an effective span of 30m over the highway and is a fully integral, single-span, prestressed concrete structure. The line will be networked to the existing DRIFT terminal and the West Coast Mainline at one end and the new Intermodal Rail Freight Terminal at the other. The terminal is to comprise a five-track, 800m-long siding with a rail traverser and a 79,000m2 concrete terminal slab. The facility will be capable of receiving up to 24 775m-long trains each day.

The concrete beams were lifted into place onto the reinforced soil abutments and wing walls during a single day under a 43-hour road closure. A 50m-tall Liebherr LTM 11000D crane arrived on site on Friday evening and was rigged on the usually busy trunk road in under ten hours.

The project started in June 2020, with earthwork re-engineering of the plateau; the scheme is set to be completed in summer 2021.

Rob Cook, Winvic’s Director of Civils and Infrastructure, commented: “Every project has its challenges but as you can imagine there has been years of planning, design and hard work to get to where we were this weekend, seeing the country’s newest railway bridge come to life. It has been the whole team’s skills and impeccable partnership work with Prologis and Highways England that have made the journey to this point a smooth one.

“I couldn’t be more proud of them for reaching this key project milestone at DIRFT III, and that they executed the very complex beam lift without any hitches, to schedule and – most importantly – safely. It has been an exciting and impressive thing to watch, but now our focus is primarily on the other two bridges and the rail track installation, and we look forward to completion this summer.”

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