Modular pier production begins for HS2’s Thame Valley Viaduct

Offsite production of the first of 68 precast concrete piers to support HS2’s Thame Valley modular viaduct has begun.

The UK subsidiary of Spanish firm Pacadar started manufacturing the piers yesterday (18 May) at an offsite factory (pictured) on the Isle of Grain.

The 880-metre-long modular viaduct near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, will be constructed entirely offsite and then transported to the Thame Valley site for assembly later this year, said HS2 Ltd head of civil structures Tomas Garcia. Each pier will weigh 42 tonnes.

The piers will support two 97-tonne hollow beams per span. The 25-metre-long box girder beams are also being manufactured by Pacadar UK. Prefabricating the beams and pier structures will cut the Thame Valley Viaduct’s carbon footprint by 33 per cent compared with traditional methods, according to HS2 Ltd.

Pacadar UK production manager Fernando Aguilar Pirez said: “This solution is based on a modular design which is widely implemented by Pacadar on previous high-speed lines.”

The viaduct over the River Thame will carry HS2 trains at speeds of up to 360km/h between London, Birmingham and the North.

It is one of 15 viaducts designed by HS2 Ltd’s main works contractor, the EKFB joint venture comprising Effiage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and Bam Nuttall.

FC Civils Solutions is supporting EKFB as onsite construction partner on the Thame Valley Viaduct given its “expertise which comes with building a prefabricated structure”, said EKFB project director Ignacio Chicharro.

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