HS2 completes world’s longest box slide

box slideHS2 Ltd announced the completion of world’s longest box slide over the M42 in Warwickshire constructed by Midlands – Balfour Beatty Vinci (BBV). The 12,600 tonne bridge with a record 165 metres has been put in the position across a motorway in Warwickshire.

The site team worked around the clock to move HS2’s Marston Box bridge into place over the M42 during the Christmas period. The dramatic operation took 40 hours, at a speed of 4 metres per hour during a 10-day closure of the motorway between Junctions J9 and J10 (northbound and southbound).

“This is the first box slide of its kind over a motorway in the UK, and we believe it’s also the world’s longest slide, so it’s a great achievement for HS2 as we quickly approach peak construction. It’s fantastic to celebrate another big milestone for a project that is already providing work for almost 30,000 people today, and in the future, it will encourage people to use zero carbon public transport,” HS2 Ltd’s Civils Delivery Director, Mike Lyons said.

Over the last six months, the giant 86 metre-long structure was built on land next to the motorway. The structure, developed by a design joint venture of Mott MacDonald and Systra, working on behalf of BBV, has a base, three walls and top slab.

The sliding mechanism, designed by specialist civil and structural engineering company Freyssinet, allowed the box to be pushed into place over the motorway on a guiding raft over a distance of 165 metres – which is believed to be the world’s longest box slide.

On completion, the whole structure will be around 190 metres in length, and will carry HS2 over the motorway as it heads north to Crewe, or on its southward journey as it loops into Birmingham Curzon Street or continues straight on to Interchange Station in Solihull, Old Oak Common Station and London Euston.

Once built, the railway bridge will connect to Dunton Wood Embankment to the south and the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal Viaduct, which crosses the heritage canal, to the north.

This construction method, which allowed it to be moved into place in one movement meant only two one-week closures of the motorway over a 12-month period, dramatically reducing disruption for road users.


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