New bridge takes shape at Thorpe Park, Leeds
A road over rail bridge in Leeds under construction by Galliford Try is rapidly taking shape. Located at Thorpe Park just off the M1, the bridge is a single 28m clear span structure over the Leeds to Hull railway line. The design is future proofed to account for future expansion of the line from two to four-track and electrification. The road width will accommodate a dual carriageway in both direction and a footway, cycleway and bridleway as well as a central reserve.
The 12-month programme began last summer with the grouting of two old coal seams down to 18 metres on a 3m matrix. The second phase was the excavation for the abutment base foundation which involved digging out top soil and clays to a depth of 3-4 metres to good mudstone. Formwork, reinforcement and concrete (FRC) formed the abutment bases (using 283m3 ) and walls (260m³). The south wall rises to a height of 8m compared to 6m on the north due to the longitudinal fall over the bridge.
A major milestone was achieved with the installation of nine precast and pre-stressed beams over four weekend night time possessions in January and February. The operation was carried out by a 750-tonne crawler crane which arrived on site on forty HGV delivery wagons with police escort and was erected over six days with a 200-tonne mobile crane. Each W10-type beam measured 30m long. The seven standard inner beams weighed 70 tonnes while the outer beams, which include the deck, string course and steel parapet, weighed 130 tonnes. Beams here hoisted at a 42m working radius.
The wingwalls are currently being constructed after which the bulk earthworks for the structural backfill and approach ramps will get underway. Completion is set for July. The value of the scheme is £4.7m and our client is Thorpe Park Development Limited.
The bridge is a critical part of the Manston Lane Link Road which will become a major strategic link for Leeds and eventually form part of the proposed East Leeds Orbital Route. Thorpe Park is already well established and home to over 60 businesses employing around 4,500 people. Phase two – which includes the new bridge – will provide provide mixed use accommodation, a shopping and leisure park, offices, 300 new homes and a public park with sports facilities.