Construction of High Speed 2’s Wendover Dean viaduct has begun with the sinking of the first piles.
The 450-metre-long structure is south of Wendover and is the first major railway bridge to be built in the UK using a ‘double composite’ structure which is expected to use less concrete and steel compared to more traditional designs.
Engineers for main works contractor EKFB – a team of Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall – will construct 53 concrete piles, boring holes and backfilling them to create them. The piers on the viaduct will rest on concrete pile caps and will be cast as shells before being assembled on site and filled with concrete. The first ‘double composite’ beams will be installed in 2023.
‘Double composite’ structures use steel girders sandwiched between two layers of reinforced concrete to create a light and strong hollow span.