First of a trio of Preston Western Distributor bridges installed

15th March 2021

Cleveland Bridge UK has completed the installation of the first of a trio of bridges that will form key elements of a major infrastructure project in Lancashire.

The 250 metre Lea Viaduct is part of the Lancashire City Council’s £200m Preston Western Distributor project, which is the largest road programme in the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal. Due for completion in 2023, it will link the A583 with the M55 motorway.

The 2,607 tonne steel viaduct will support the road infrastructure project’s objective of creating access to new housing and business developments, supporting economic growth of the area, while also increasing capacity on the existing local road network.

Working in partnership with main contractor Costain and project engineers Jacobs and Atkins, Cleveland Bridge designed and fabricated the bridge in five 50 metre sections each made up of five pairs of girders to form a crossing over the Lancaster Canal and the Preston to Blackpool railway line.

Installed during a six-week programme utilising a 600te crawler crane, Cleveland Bridge UK called on the expertise and experience of its team to tackle the challenges of working over water and the railway line on a site that was accessed via a tight country lane.

Lea Viaduct is the first of three bridges produced and installed by Cleveland Bridge UK for the scheme, which will be followed by the Becconsall bridge and the Savick Brook Viaduct that are scheduled to be installed in the next three months.

Andy Limbert, head of UK projects at Cleveland Bridge UK, said: “We are experienced at undertaking installations in hard-to-reach rural locations and through the close collaborative relationship between our engineers and supply chain partners we successfully executed the delivery of the viaduct.

“We also had the challenge of the tight possession windows we had to install across an active railway line and the canal, which we operated well within to ensure the project was delivered on time and without any disruption to water or rail traffic.

“We are proud to be part of this important highway infrastructure project, which will bring significant benefits to the Lancashire economy, and look forward to completing the installation of the remaining pair of bridges in the coming months.”

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