Ainscough Crane Hire’s Cambridge Depot, working as part of the A14 Integrated Delivery Team for Cleveland Bridge, has lifted the first of a series of giant bridge beams over one of the country’s main railway lines as Highways England’s A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme successfully reaches another milestone.

Released by Highways England, the images show the steel girders being lifted over the East Coast Main Line railway last Sunday (19 Nov).

The photos, which were taken during the night, early on Sunday 19 November, show two pairs of twin steel girders weighing 100 tonnes each being lifted by a 500-tonne, CC2500-1crawler crane with back up support from a Liebherr LTM1100-2 100-tonne mobile crane.

The work, which took place during a four-hour closure of the railway line between 2 and 6am, was completed with one hour to spare, after the railway’s overhead power lines were isolated and protected during the challenging manoeuver.

The steel beams will be joined by another three over the coming weeks and will form part of the bridge that will carry the new, 6-lane (three in each direction) A14 Huntingdon bypass over the East Coast Mainline once the 21-mile, £1.5bn A14 upgrade project is completed by the end of 2020.

A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon project director for Highways England, David Bray, said:

“The successful installation of the first two bridge beams over the East Coast mainline is the culmination of two years of planning and the fact that the team was able to do this in around three hours is a credit to the level of expertise at our disposal on this project.

“We’ve just marked our first year of construction and we’re a quarter of the way into our programme already. The improvements we are delivering between Cambridge and Huntingdon are vital for the local area and for the country’s economy. We set out to deliver world leading infrastructure improvements a year ago, this is exactly what we have been doing so far and we look forward to continuing to deliver our challenging programme in record time.”

Ainscough depot manager in Cambridge, Peter Wallis, added: “Rail possession work always has the additional pressure of the ticking clock as to when you must be finished. We are well aware that many people are relying on us to deliver on time and lifts like this is one of those times when we want people to hardly notice what we’ve done.”
Photographs courtesy of Highways England

Picture 1 Cleveland bridge A14 241117