Over bridge replacement will deliver improved drivers' visibility on approach

Ilkeston, December 2016 a Victorian road overbridge on the Derby to Chesterfield main railway line, was replaced to improve better visibility for drivers and forms part of Network Rails’ Railway Upgrade Plan across the region

The life expired 425ton steel constructed bridge, TCC 27A, located in Ilkeston close to the site of the new £10M station currently under construction in Derbyshire, was lifted from the position it had occupied for over a hundred years in the early hours of 18 December 2016 to make way for the new structure. A 29 hour possession over the weekend had been granted for the works, but they were completed within just 24 hours.

The new £3.1M project will provide an improved road alignment and visibility with the new alignment also allowing for a new footpath. The 50m of approach either side of the bridge has been widened with sheet piles with pre-cast concrete capping beams with N2 standard parapets: the new 33m long structure is fitted with H4A standard steel parapets. The new 525 ton bridge has been designed for future line improvements and to allow for future overhead line upgrade (hence the curved bridge deck design).Its construction of a weathering steel composite will see the bridge through an expected lifespan of 125 years.

Old bridge being lifted and moved using 3nr SPMT's (18th Dec 2016)
Old bridge being lifted and moved using 3nr SPMT's (18th Dec 2016)
New bridge being jacked
New bridge being jacked

David Millar, Senior Project Manager for AMCO Rail and ICE member said, "Although the successful installation of the new bridge is a key milestone, our job is not yet done. Our project team are working toward getting the main road open in March 2017."

Jon Batsford, Project Manager for Network Rail, Infrastructure Projects East Midlands added, "For the last 2 years the whole Project Team has worked hard and pulled together to get everything in place for installation of the new deck just before Christmas. Our focus now is to complete these vital upgrade works at Awsworth Road and reopen the road for the use of local residents and businesses as soon as possible."

Damianos Bouklas, Design Project Manager at HBPW LLP said, "The utilization of the existing embankments, the electrification requirements and the challenging ground conditions were only some of the constraints that we had to deal with during the design process. For the bridge foundations, 600mm diameter bored piles, with integrated bankseats, were used. In order to allow the future demolition of the existing masonry abutments, that currently act as retaining walls, a combination of long and short (infill) bored piles was chosen. The short infill piles, which get stiffness from the integrated bankseats, have allowed a significant reduction of the overall bored piles length, with substantial cost and programme benefits".

"For the bridge installation with SPMTs and due to the site's location in an open cast mining area, with deep made ground and 11no. known "bell" shaft, a series of well-orchestrated temporary works were produced. Once again, the close cooperation between AMCO & HBPW Consulting, at an early stage, was proved to be a key factor in the appropriate delivery of the project".

Molly McKenzie, ICE East Midlands Regional Director added, "Infrastructure is at the heart of our society and it is great to see the Ilkeston project coming together. Civil Engineers are a vital component of the collaborative project teams delivering infrastructure projects which ensure local economies remain vibrant and can grow for the benefit of the community."

Find our more about the new Ilkeston railway station project


The original bridge cost £1216 when constructed in 1901. In 1951 the bridge had been raised by 3 feet due to mining subsidence in the area.

The start of work on the bridge comes as work continues on the £10 million investment in a new station for Ilkeston which is being led by Derbyshire County Council and delivered by Network Rail.