Major bridge lifted into place over rail line in Apsley

The bridge is lifted into place over Featherbed Lane
The bridge is lifted into place over Featherbed Lane

A construction project in Apsley took a big step forward this week with the installation of a major bridge across the West Coast Main Line at Featherbed Lane.

The work, which was carried out by contractor Osborne and house builder Bovis Homes, is part of wider work to deliver Bovis' 325-home development of the Manor Estate in Apsley.

The work took place overnight

The work took place overnight

It's hoped that the bridge will help alleviate the current traffic congestion in the area and provide capacity for increased traffic flow from the new homes.

It forms a major access route into the new homes, weighs in at more than 190 tonnes and was assembled on site before being lifted in a ‘pick up and carry’ manoeuvre and moved a distance of 60m before being placed into position.

The bridge was installed by a team of engineers using a 600-tonne crawler crane, which also had to be assembled on site. It is the largest crane ever operated by Osborne and one of the biggest in use in the UK.

The work took place at night while the railway line, which runs regular services between London and Birmingham, was closed.

The crane that was used is one of the biggest in use currently in the UK

The crane that was used is one of the biggest in use currently in the UK

Chris O’Connor, Bovis Homes' regional technical director, said: “We’re delighted to have reached an important step in this project with the successful installation of the bridge.

“We would like to thank Osborne for ensuring that the works proceeded successfully, as well as the local community, Dacorum Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council for their support and understanding to enable the construction of the bridge, in what has been a technically challenging project.

"We can now move on to the next step in bringing these much needed new homes to the community.”

Jon Millar, project manager at Osborne, added: “We have worked to deeply understand the needs of the community, and we are pleased to have been able to find the right solution to ease traffic congestion in the area.”