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Steel spans for major east London viaduct

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East London’s 1.5km-long Barking Riverside Viaduct is nearing completion in readiness for a new railway line to open this Autumn.

Crossing rail, road and river obstacles, the viaduct forms an integral element of the new 4.5km London Overground extension from Barking to the new Barking Riverside terminus, which will be situated in the main square of a development that will eventually contain more than 10,000 homes.

The viaduct’s longest spans – 400m in total length – have been formed with structural steelwork, with Severfield fabricating, supplying and installing 3,500t in total

Transport for London’s (TfL) Head of Programme James Barrow says: “Steelwork was chosen for the northern end of the viaduct as it was the only material that could efficiently create the longer spans, up to 42m-long, needed to pass over the numerous obstacles.”

As well as creating the required long spans, the use of steel has allowed the project team to minimise disruption. Less time and equipment was needed to erect the steel part of the viaduct, as prefabricated girders were brought to site, ready to be erected during a series of weekend possessions.

One of the final steel spans to be installed was also the longest and because of site constraints, required the use of one of the UK’s biggest mobile cranes, with a lifting capacity of 1,200t.

The span required two steel girders, measuring 42m-long × 3m-deep and each weighing 120t. They represented some of the largest sections ever fabricated by Severfield at its Lostock facility near Bolton.

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