The bridge installation is being undertaken by Network Rail and GRAHAM Construction.
The new bridge will have wider footways and carriageway than the original Tennison Road Bridge, which has spanned the main lines between London Bridge and East Croydon since 1922. The new bridge was launched into position using a hydraulic strand jack system.
Network Rail’s scheme project manager, Shane O’Connor, said:
“A combination of technology and engineering expertise meant we could keep trains and passengers moving while the bridge was launched across the tracks. This is the first time we’ve worked in this way – in the past the only way would have involved a complete closure of the railway, which would have caused huge disruption.
“It’s a great step forward for passengers and it’s also a big leap forward for Croydon, as it will soon have a much improved bridge with extended paths and a wider road.”
Rory McFadden, project manager for GRAHAM Construction, said:
“GRAHAM are delighted to have reached this major milestone on the replacement of the Tennison Road Bridge. Launching a 565-tonne bridge over 10 operational rail lines is quite a feat of engineering but the innovative methods used allowed for a controlled and safe installation. That said, it took a lot of preparation in advance of the actual launch.
“Network Rail and GRAHAM Construction would also like to take this opportunity to thank the local community for their continued support.”
Councillor Kathy Bee, Croydon Council’s cabinet member for transport and the environment, said:
“From local residents and commuters to football fans going to watch Crystal Palace play nearby, people in the borough will find it easier to get around when this new and wider bridge opens next spring because it will take more traffic and need fewer repairs.
“We want to thank local people for bearing with the works to the new bridge, which will make a real difference to pedestrians, cyclists and drivers when it opens.”
Tennison Road Bridge is due to open for public use in spring 2015.