VIDEO | Ordsall Chord structure completed

The final piece of the steel cascade forming the distinctive ribbon-like shape of the Ordsall Chord has been lifted into position by Network Rail.

The first cascade, weighing 40 tonnes, was installed during the early hours of Sunday 6 August, while the second cascade was lifted into position on Monday 14 August, completing the last part of what Network Rail is billing as the UK’s first network arch bridge.

Construction will now continue on the remainder of the project. This will involve laying ballast and track on the 1,600-tonne bridge as well as further track work, signal work and installing overhead line equipment to allow electric trains to run.

The Ordsall Chord will create new links to Manchester Airport, provide more frequent trains and connect Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria stations.

It is part of Network Rail’s £1bn Great North Rail Project, due to be completed by December 2017.

Allan Parker, programme manager for Network Rail, said: “The installation of the cascades completes the final and unique steel ribbon-effect which runs along the outside of the network arch bridge. We’ve reached yet another major milestone in the project and I would like to thank all the teams who have played an integral role in making this happen. We are a step closer to providing the infrastructure for more frequent trains and better connections, not only within the city, but the north of England.”

Peter Jenkins, BDP’s transport architect director and designer of the bridge, said: “The overall concept for the bridges is that of a continual, flowing ribbon which incorporates individual structures into a single over-arching identity.

“This latest piece of steelwork connects the River Irwell and Trinity Way bridges with a twisting, sinuous form which smoothly brings the concept of the structure to fruition. The development has been a true team effort from the original sketch through to construction, integrating different people and different tools to achieve the vision.

“The process began with pen and paper concepts which were explored through structural analysis and developed into complex three-dimensional modelling. The bridge’s arches and cascades were then fabricated by Severfield in Bolton using the latest steelwork techniques before being delivered to site.”

Engineers advising include WSP, Aecom and Mott MacDonald.

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What a waste of money that is!

By Abots

Bore off Abots.

Great to see some thoughtful arty design going into what could have been a simple ‘value engineered’ structure.

By Nicely done

Nicely done, I agree it looks good, but when there are electrification schemes being cancelled, questions need to be asked about things like this. Is it really the best value for taxpayer’s money?

By Abots

@ Abots: it will cost a measly £85m and was agreed all the way back in 2011. What reduces its value for money is follow up schemes e.g. additional platforms at Piccadilly potentially cancelled. Sure we could build something boring and save a few million – but for what? For it to be swallowed by the NHS to give away to health tourists?

By David

David has a point. The next thing we will be hearing is that Oxford road and Piccadilly cannot cope with the volume of trains pouring in and people are sat outside the stations waiting for a platform for an hour. So it would have been easier to get the Met from Victoria or walk in the first place.

By Elephant

Abots – you had it right the first time – but you should have added – “…now that the extra tracks between Deansgate and Piccadilly are not now being built”.
The two present tracks have difficulty coping with the present traffic – it will not cope with extra trains from the Victoria area. So whilst the station throat at Piccadilly will see less trains with it’s six tracks – Deansgate will see additional trains with it’s two tracks – sheer madness!

By JGW905

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