Apsley’s new bridge wins award for excellence

The bridge is craned into place
The bridge is craned into place

A major construction project in Apsley has been recognised with a national engineering award.

The Brian Ayling Bridge, which spans the West Coast Main Line at Featherbed Lane, has been awarded the Exceptional Merit for Physical Achievement by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

Officially opened in February, the project forms part of work led by housebuilder Bovis Homes on delivering the 325-home Aspen Park development in the town.

Regional technical director Chris O’Connor said: “This award is a wonderful way to round out this successful project, and is testament to the hard work and expertise of all involved.

“It was a technically demanding installation that was a long time in the making and, now that the bridge is open, it’s great to see it playing a vital role in maintaining the flow of traffic into our Aspen Park location.”

Bovis Homes tasked civil engineering company Osborne and its design partner Mott MacDonald to come up with a replacement for the existing narrow bridge, in order to help alleviate congestion in the area and provide capacity for increased traffic flow to and from the new homes.

The new bridge weighs more than 190 tonnes and was constructed off site before being lifted into place overnight by a specialist 600-tonne Demag CC2800 crawler crane.

The project cost more than £8 million to complete.

A plaque reveals that the bridge has been named in honour of borough councillor Brian Ayling, who played a key role in bringing the project to fruition.

The annual ICE East of England Merit Awards celebrate excellence in civil engineering.

Projects in the region that have been completed in the previous year are entered and visited by a panel of judges.