The Ordsall Chord rail link in Manchester hit a milestone yesterday when two huge 600t arches were craned into place.
The Ordsall Chord is a 300m long section of track which will link all three of Manchester’s railway stations – Piccadilly, Oxford Road and Victoria – for the first time,
A Skanska Bam JV is the civil engineering delivery partner for the scheme. Project director Keith Gardner said: “The challenges are that you’re lifting an arch from the top, so it’s obviously going to deflect. It’s not just a straightforward tandem lift. We have to lift it and travel with it. Once we’ve lowered the north end into position, we have to adjust it so that it aligns at the south end. As you lift it it’s wanting to hug itself, so as you drop it you have to let it come back into its shape, then lock the north corners off, take the cranes off, align the south and weld.”
At each of the four corners there is just a 25mm gap. The 90m span bridge was designed by a Mott MacDonald and Aecom joint venture. Skanska designed all the temporary works. The design uses inclined hangers which cross throughout the span, instead of more conventional vertical hangers.
There were stunning photos of the lift on Twitter, including this one below from by Aerial Video TV.
Aerial Video TV Ordsall Chord image
Source: Aerial Video TV
The scheme is part of the Great North Rail Project and part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan.
Due for completion by the end of the year, the scheme aims to reduce congestion in the local area by 25%.