County Council highly commended at Rail Business Awards

Battenhall Bridge Published Friday, 22nd February 2019

Worcestershire County Council and its partners were highly commended at last night's Rail Business Awards.

One of 20 major awards presented in front of a packed room of some 700 industry professionals, it was given in recognition of the successful extension of the Battenhall Railway Bridge as part of the A4440 Worcester Southern Link Road dualling scheme.

The joint bid by the County Council, SLC Rail, Alun Griffiths Ltd, Jacobs and Tony Gee was nominated in the Infrastructure Project Excellence Award category at last night's ceremony, which was hosted by broadcaster Jeremy Vine at the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane in London.

Councillor Ken Pollock, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economy & Infrastructure, said: "It's fantastic news for all involved that the Battenhall Railway Bridge Extension Scheme was commended at the Rail Business Awards.

"This award is a real testimony to the members of the project team who worked around the clock before, during and after the bridge extension being moved into place to ensure that all aspects of the extension project were carried out successfully, and ultimately saw the road reopened ahead of schedule."

The submission for the award focused on how the partners managed to overcome one of the most significant obstacles to widening the Southern Link Road. The original railway bridge was not wide enough to span a full dual carriageway.

This key route through the county was closed temporarily between Whittington and Norton roundabouts while the 1,500 tonne railway bridge extension, which was fabricated off-line to minimise disruption, was moved into position.

The main railway line between Worcester and London was closed for 5 days to allow the work to be completed and the contractors who are working on the new Worcestershire Parkway Station took advantage of the closure to carry out some essential track works at the same time.

A team of 180 engineers worked around the clock in 8 hour shifts to ensure the this major feat of civil engineering was carried out successfully, and the hard work and dedication of the project team saw the railway reopened on time and the road re-open a day and a half ahead of schedule.

The installation of the bridge extension marked a crucial step in the County Council's aim of fully dualling the Southern Link Road from Junction 7 of the M5 to Powick Roundabout.

The Southern Link Road is an essential part of Worcestershire’s strategic road network and provides an important link between the M5 and Great Malvern, the wider Malvern Hills district, Herefordshire and Wales.

It is also an important bypass to the city centre and provides one of only two road crossings of the River Severn in Worcester city. With more than 30,000 cars using the road every weekday, dualling the road will help to ease congestion.