Work on the Ordsall Chord, which will improve passenger journeys and rail travel across the north, is entering its final phase as it moves towards completion in December 2017.
Since the start of the New Year, Network Rail has been working round-the-clock to complete a number of key pieces of work.
So far engineers have:
– Removed a section of Chapel Street bridge, sandwiched between two adjacent bridges
– Replaced the bridge with a new steel structure weighing 260 tonnes which required 3500 bolts to put together
– Laid over 1000 metres of new track and 3500 tonnes of ballast between Ordsall Lane and Deal Street
– Installed new signals and 25kv overhead line equipment
– Poured 600 cubic metres of concrete
– Installed girders and cross beams on the new Trinity Way bridge
– Fixed ‘hangers’ which connect the arch section to the bottom deck of the network arch bridge
The final phase of the project will see further track realignment and new junctions at Water Street and Irwell Street as well as completing major signalling work, laying ballast and completing the installation of overhead line equipment for electric trains.
The Ordsall Chord is part of Network Rail’s £1bn+ Great North Rail Project and will provide new links to Manchester Airport from the north, provide more frequent trains and connect Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria stations for the first time. It will be completed in December 2017.
Project director for Network Rail, Mike Heywood, said: “The Ordsall Chord will transform journeys for passengers in the north and help boost local and regional economies by providing better connections between towns, cities and Manchester Airport.
“The Ordsall Chord is an example of a great piece of modern engineering. Over the past few months, the team have faced a really tough schedule and given their all in completing complicated sections of work within tight deadlines.
“One of the most challenging aspects of the work was completed over the Easter period when we widened the Middlewood viaduct, whilst working on significant track re-alignments through Salford Central station, and removing and replacing parts Chapel Street bridge.
“I am delighted with the progress we have made so far but there is a lot more work we need to complete. The remaining programme will see further track realignment meaning some train services coming into Manchester Victoria will be affected at weekends and bank holidays up until the beginning of October.
“I would like to thank residents and passengers for the patience they have shown during these essential works as we work towards providing a better railway for this and many generations to come.”
Jarrod Hulme, project manager for Severfield, said “A three day slot was allocated for the delivery and installation of the replacement bridge. The Severfield site team managed to complete and hand over to the next contractor on time, despite the challenges. I’m extremely proud of the way our team delivered the 250 tonnes of structural steelwork, for one of the most demanding programme schedules I have ever worked on. The massive collaborative helping hand from everyone involved meant it was a success.”
Graham Gornall, project manager for Skanska BAM said: “The successful completion of the Easter work was yet another significant milestone. There were lots of great examples both in the planning and on site delivery of working together for the greater good. Being heavily involved, I can say the whole air of calmness throughout contributed to its success.”
Peter Jenkins, BDP transport architect director and project lead architect, said: “The recent milestones achieved by the project continue the significant efforts of the site team, which are appreciated by all of those involved in the project. Whilst the signature forms of the River Irwell and Trinity Way bridges are moving tantalisingly close to completion, the intricate work around Chapel Street is vitally important and expresses the design philosophy of the whole project as it snakes its way round from Victoria to Castlefield. In all locations, the intention is to provide new structures which both complement and contrast with the listed fabric alongside, clearly expressing the modern with a respect for the old.”
To see work completed over Easter, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBxJwZ7wxac