The Great Western Main Line is one of the country”s most important arterial rail routes, linking London and the south-east to Bristol, Wales and the west. Network Rail is currently in the latter stages of electrifying the line (as far as Cardiff) by installing 25kV AC Electrified Overhead Line Equipment (OLE). As part of the scheme, the century-old “Bridge Street Bridge” in Newport city centre required demolition and replacement, in order to accommodate the increased height requirements of the OLE.
Network Rail and ABC Electrification selected Walters experienced team to deliver specialist site investigation, demolition, enabling and infrastructure works in a professional and controlled manner. Working in a busy city centre environment, this would be achieved through a combination of night time rail-possession working and segregated daytime working.
The existing concrete deck was removed using an innovative saw-cutting technique, in which the 300mm thick concrete deck cut was into sections and lifted out with an excavator. This was done to prevent any further deterioration of the dilapidated steel-deck substructure during removal. Once the bridge deck had been removed, Walters successfully completed the enabling works behind both abutments. This included demolition of pilasters, saw-cutting and demolition of the abutment walls, earthworks, off-site disposal of contaminated material and the installation of over 100 steel sheet piles. All of this work took place whilst working in very close proximity to the rail track and numerous structures.
Following the successful demolition and enabling works contract, Walters were further awarded the civil engineering contract to reinstate the infrastructure network at either side of the new bridge structure. This included drainage, utilities, kerbs, footpaths, road construction and surfacing works. All works were completed successfully in challenging circumstances, allowing the new bridge to open on time for Network Rail and Newport City Council prior to Christmas 2016.