The first giant concrete section of the deck of Colne Valley Viaduct has been put in place by HS2.
Having been under construction since early 2021, near Rickmansworth, Northwood and Harefield, the railway bridge is set to be the longest ever constructed in the UK, stretching 3.4 kilometres along above the lakes and waterways below. It will carry trains travelling up to speeds of 200mph.
These new concrete portions are currently being constructed at HS2’s specially-built compound in Maple Cross, each one the size of a double decker bus and weighing up to 140 tonnes. A whopping 1,000 of them are being made will form the deck of the bridge.
HS2 aim that at the peak of construction around 12 of these segments will be installed every week using a ‘match-casting’ technique.
The site has not been without controversy however, with it being occupied multiple times by protestors concerned at HS2’s effect on the local environment, particularly the quality of water in the area.
The nearby developments relating to the project also include a 10-mile-long tunnel under the Chiltern Hills bored by machines also assembled at the Maple Cross compound.
Completion of the bridge’s deck is currently anticipated to finish by the summer of 2025.
Picture credit HS2