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Medway Bridge running two months late

CHANNEL TUNNEL Rail Link's Medway Bridge construction is running nearly two months behind the contractor Eurolink's expected programme.

Completion of the second span of nine on the west bank approach viaduct last week was only the fourth push launch in as many months - less than half the production rate hoped for.

The next span will take the viaduct over a live railway.

Resolving an agreed method of safe working for this has taken much longer than expected.

The delay helped to prompt a decision to order a separate shutter and launching nose for the 13 span approach viaduct on the east bank. The nose, which props the leading end of the prestressed concrete box girder as it is pushed over the pier tops, was fabricated in Birmingham by PGS and is now on site. Behind it, the shutter is being assembled and engineers hope to cast and push out the first two 10m long segments by the end of this month.

Meanwhile, in mid river, work is under way on the balanced cantilever crossing of the Medway's navigation channel. The complex shutter and reinforcement cage is being assembled on the splayed columns of the west pier ready to pour the hammerhead section next week. Then work will begin on the first sections of the 150m main span.

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