Network Rail has awarded contractor BAM Nuttall an £8.5M contract for the start of the civils works associated with the redevelopment of Reading station.
The project involves widening both main road thoroughfares in Reading town centre under the railway by about 10m. Caversham Road Bridge requires removal of some of the existing decks, widened abutments and a new orthotropic bridge deck to be transported in to place.
Central and West London Business Unit widened the road under the railway in the 1970s, reconstructing the bridge in the process. In a return to the site this contract sees Rail South extend the width of the rail bridge over the road while maintaining the aesthetic appearance of the framed bridge.
In addition there is substantial earth retaining structures that were value engineered during the tender period to provide Network Rail with an efficient and economical solution to a logistically challenging piece of work.
The contract also includes the provision to include the strengthening of the existing Southern Tunnel, a 120m long 70º skew bridge under the railway. Design development of this work is currently underway.
Work on site starts in February 2010 after a design period (Gifford is BAM’s appointed designer) and is scheduled for completion in March 2011. The bulk of the bridge related work is carried out in major possessions around the Christmas and New Year 2010-2011 period. Earthwork retaining structures and abutment widening will be carried out in normal working hours.
Business Unit Manager Alan Cox said: “‘This award marked a significant step for the Rail South team and its efforts to build up further work outside the Southern Civils Framework, we identified this opportunity early on as a focus project and put a lot of effort in to securing it against some credible opposition. This package is the first of several for Reading Station Area redevelopment and further opportunities will arise in civils, station and depot work, all of which are of particular interest to us.”