New rib arches have been delivered and installed at Blackfriars Bridge in London, which will be renovated and widened as part of the £5.5bn Thameslink upgrade.
Three new rib arches have been delivered to the site, which will be transformed into the first station to span the Thames in time for the 2012 Olympic Games, over the past four weeks.
Each arch weighs some 45t in three sections. Each section takes a day to install, as installation requires careful consideration of the Thames tidal flow, river traffic, and wind.
The new rib arches will allow Blackfriars Bridge to be widened on the eastern side before the bridge deck is replaced - a £19M operation which requires the bridge superstructure to be replaced above the existing wrought iron arch ribs.
Network Rail’s project director for the Blackfriars redevelopment, Lindsay Vamplew, said: “As a milestone in the life of the Blackfriar’s project, the installation of the new rib arches was an extremely important one as it further opens up the job.
“The work undertaken was British engineering at its very best, considering the wide range of challenges the teams at Network Rail and Balfour Beatty had to contend with. To our knowledge this is the very first time this type of work has taken place using a floating platform. We are pleased with this result and the strong progress the project is making,” he said.