How HS2 removed a 4,000 tonne, two-span bridge
A team of 20 demolition experts from Solihull-based firm Armac Demolition has worked 24/7 to remove a 4,000 tonne two-span bridge over the M42 to make way for the HS2 railway in the West Midlands. The team used eight 50 tonne excavators and two 40 tonne excavators to remove the 40 metre long, 10 metre wide bridge during a planned 56 hour closure of the motorway. Six articulated dumper trucks transported the excavated material to a local stockpile where it will be crushed and reused on HS2’s haul roads and working areas. The whole job was completed sooner than anticipated, which meant the M42 could be reopened 14 hours ahead of schedule, shortening the closure to 42 hours and reducing disruption to road users. Armac was working for HS2’s civils contractor Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV) to deliver the operation during the closure of the M42 near HS2’s Interchange Station construction site in Solihull. HS2 Ltd and BBV worked closely with National Highways and their supply chain to enable the demolition works, with all existing motorway technology diverted or removed prior to the demolition. In the last year, BBV have also diverted power and telecommunications cables away from the structure ahead of the demolition. The bridge, which carried the A452 over the M42, was removed to allow for a new twin box structure to be constructed, which will carry the high speed line over the motorway in the future. HS2 has built a new, improved road structure and roundabout which now carries the A452, and in future will also enable access to the new HS2 Interchange Station.