A striking new railway bridge was successfully launched into place over Borough High Street during the Bank Holiday weekend as part of the £6bn Thameslink Programme.
The uniquely-designed bridge, which is 72m long, six metres high and weighs 1,200t was moved into position at an average of 7mm per second using a multi-wheeled transporter. Contractor was Skanska
The bridge is part of the 507m-long Borough Viaduct which runs above the highly-built up Borough Market area. Finding space for new rail infrastructure in such a densely built up urban area has been a challenge, in some places it’s not more than 16cm away from existing buildings. The viaduct is nestled in-between listed buildings, its foundations are strategically located to avoid London Underground tunnels and the popular Borough Market that has been partly relocated during the works.
Before work on the viaduct began, Network Rail created a new trading space for Borough Market traders to replace the area needed for the work site. It is within the existing market site, off Winchester Walk, near the Cathedral.
Work continues with the trustees and traders at Borough Market to enable the operation of the market to be maintained throughout construction. On completion, the Market will take up its old footprint, under the viaducts and its newly refurbished Victorian roof. It will also expand into a new purpose-built market hall giving the Market a high street entrance for the first time in centuries
Network Rail will also be building a new mixed-use development at 11-15 Borough High Street to replace a building that had to be demolished to space for the new bridge.
The Borough viaduct will rejoin the existing railway just outside London Bridge station. To build the southern stretch of the viaduct, some of the arches on Station approach will need to be remodelled.
By 2018 the new viaduct will link into a redeveloped London Bridge station, creating a bigger and better station for passengers.