North Beck Bridge, Northallerton

New Northallerton link road and rail overbridge
Taylor Wimpey
NEC4 Option A


The project involved the construction of a new 900 m long link road and 150m span weathering steel bridge over a live Network Rail line to the north of Northallerton.

Its purpose was to link two separate housing developments and ensure traffic avoided the centre of this historic market town.

The main works activities included

  • large scale earthworks to form the new approach embankments by importing over 100,000 m3 of granular material
  • construction of a new bridge over the Network Rail line including 25 m deep CFA piles
  • new RC piers and abutments
  • in-situ concrete deck
  • ancillary road works
  • drainage
  • settlement and attenuation ponds
  • landscaping

The project involved extensive earthworks to create the new highway embankments and approaches to the bridge at 12 m height above existing ground level. These works required strict controls and checks to ensure they had been constructed in accordance with the specification.

In addition there was extensive monitoring installed to ensure that EWCE did not over-stress the underlying soft ground. The works were monitored on an ongoing basis and reported back to client and their designer, AECOM to verify stability of the ground before progressing with subsequent earthworks phases.

All temporary works for the piling and crane platforms had to undergo Network Rails stringent review and approvals process. EWCE undertook CAT 3 temporary works designs and checks to facilitate these approvals. This included lifting close to and over Network Rail property with cranes up to 1000T in size.

Other works ongoing on site at the same time including attenuation drainage and nearby house building. EWCE coordinated with other contractors to ensure that mutual operations did not affect each other.

During the pre-construction stage, EWCE critically reviewed the client’s and Aecom’s phasing and proposed alterations to mitigate construction stage risk and reduce overall programme duration. This was key for the client as they had a funding deadline to achieve. EWCE assisted in achieving this deadline by reducing the programme and the suggested alterations were accepted on this basis.

Key Challenges

  • Working adjacent to live carriageway
  • Working adjacent to live railway line
  • Pedestrian, cyclists, traffic including commercial vehicles and public transport affected by the works in the immediate area
  • Diversion of an existing watercourse
  • Working at height

All works kept to a minimum disturbance level including the use of dust suppression techniques/equipment and reducing noise to a minimum

Added Value

  • Rationalised the extent of ground improvement and strengthening needed beneath the new 12m high earthworks embankment
  • Extensive geotechnical monitoring of the soils underlying the new embankments to reduce overall hold periods in construction
  • Minimised rail possession times by pre-installation of temporary works on bridge beams (not originally allowed by permanent works designer)
  • Working closely with adjacent house builder and their contractors to coordinate overlapping works
  • Reducing the overall construction programme by re-sequencing the reinforced concrete works to the bridge deck despite a previously agreed onerous sequence with the permanent works designer
  • Collaborating with the Client and adopting authority North Yorkshire to install additional services across the bridge without significant delay

“We are absolutely delighted to be awarded the Considerate Constructors Certificate of Excellence for this project.”
Eric Wright Civil Engineering

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