800 tonne bridge slides into place

14 February 2008

The 800-tonne Freckleton Street Bridge has been moved into place thanks to a team from Capita Symonds’ Blackburn office.

Capita Symonds Highway and Infrastructure team is overseeing the £8m bridge project - a central part of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s plans for the area’s regeneration.

The previous four-span bridge was restricted to single lane one-way traffic flow from south to north and was assessed as sub–standard in load carrying capacity. The new scheme – which is due top open in June - involves construction of a new bridge and associated road-works that will also form part of the Blackburn Orbital Route – a £10m overhaul of all the major access routes into Blackburn town centre.

It took a team of 26 more than fours hours – well ahead of schedule - to manoeuvre the bridge 25 metres into place. Technical Director Faris Samin explains: “The sliding of the bridge was a key moment in what has been a complex and innovative project. Work soon got underway and we are delighted with the progress so far – it’s a milestone in terms of nearing the end of the project.”

Demolition of the original bridge took place in October 2006 while construction of the new structure began in September last year. When opened the dual carriageway bridge will form part of £12m scheme to transform the area with a major new road creating a link from Bolton Road to Barbara Castle Way. The final piece of the route will be the £4m section of road linking the bridge to Montague Street, which is not due to finish until at least 2009.

The new bridge will consist of a single span 78m span steel bowstring arch with a steel/concrete composite deck carrying a dual carriageway. The footways will be carried on cantilevers from the arch ties and the arch members will be of tubular section and twin arches connected at their crowns will be provided at each edge of the deck. Substructures will be of reinforced concrete construction on piled foundations

Funding for the scheme has been approved by the Department for Transport through the Local Transport Plan.