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NCE daily news update Tuesday 1 April: London Bridge team celebrates first milestone; more climate woes

The project team rebuilding London Bridge station is celebrating the successful delivery of the first stage of the programme today; meanwhile scientists warn of an ecological disaster facing the Baltic Sea

London Bridge station project team delivers first stage to schedule

Contractor Costain, supported by a design team of Hyder and WSP along with architect Grimshaw, is celebrating the successful delivery of the first stage of the programme today, with two renewed terminus platforms opened.

One of the most complex and ambitious rail station redevelopments in the UK to date, the transformation of London Bridge Station - part of Network Rail’s £6.5bn Thameslink Programme - requires the team to design and construct a safe change from six through and nine terminus platforms to nine through and six terminus platforms, without causing serious disruption to passengers.

The success of the ambitious programme, which is running to schedule, is down to a complex staging process. This involves demolishing the old platforms and the arches below and then progressively reconfiguring the tracks to construct the new station in nine stages, each stage of which must come into service before the next stage can commence.

Creating a full multi-discipline BIM model has contributed to managing the stages, ensuring that any conflicts have been identified and designed out before construction of the stage commences.

Calls for extension of proposed Glasgow Airport TramTrain service to Renfrew

Light rail lobby group TramForward has suggested extending the proposed Glasgow Airport TramTrain service to Renfrew to boost the business case of the project. Renfrew is the only major town that does not benefit from having a rail connection in the Greater Glasgow area and is near to the airport. TramForward said such an extension would help to ensure a more consistent traffic flow for the TramTrain link

TramForward’s suggesting came after the Scottish Government instructed Transport Scotland to work with the airport and local councils on the feasibility of the TramTrain link.

Baltic Sea ‘dead zones’ increase dramatically

Dead zones in the Baltic Sea have increased by more than 10 times over the last 115 years, a study has found.

Together with an international team of scientists, professor Daniel Conley at Sweden’s Lund University found that the area of dead zone has grown from about 5,000 km2in 1900 to more than 60,000 km2, making it the largest human-induced low oxygen zone in the world.

The researchers developed a new method of using sparse data on oxygen concentrations to determine oxygen trends in the Baltic Sea over the last century. They examined historical oxygen levels in the deep waters, analyzing the different processes that affect oxygen concentrations in bottom water.

Sufficient oxygen in bottom waters is necessary for a well-functioning healthy ecosystem with less algal blooms in the water. The lack of oxygen leads to the death of organisms that live on the bottom. Scientists attribute the increase in hypoxic areas to elevated nutrient levels from the use of fertilizers, large animal farms, the burning of fossil fuels, and effluents from municipal wastewater treatment plants.

“Politicians from around the Baltic Sea must immediately implement the national reductions for nutrients that have been agreed upon in the Baltic Sea Action Plan. If actions are postponed further, the situation in the Baltic Sea will continue to worsen,” said Conley.


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