Case Study

Arnside Viaduct - Cumbria

Arnside Viaduct

The Project

Constructed in 1857, the Arnside Viaduct was built to allow the Lancaster to West Cumbria Railway  to cross the Kent River, at its mouth, where it discharges into Morcombe Bay Estuary. However deterioration over the years has resulted in the viaducts load carrying capacity being reduced and a permanent speed limit restriction enforced. Network Rail Awarded May Gurney (Now Kier Rail) the £10.7m contract to reconstruct the superstructure and refurbish the substructure. The superstructure replacement involved the replacement of the entire 476m long deck formed from 102 individual decks, totalling 2800 tonnes of steel.

ei supported the May Gurney Project Team in bid management, design management, temporary works and engineering management through out the execution of the project. May Gurney were supported by bridge engineering specialists Ramboll and Steelwork Subcontractor Mabey Bridge.

ei was appointed as Contractors Engineering Manager (CEM) for the duration of the project, through both the design and construction phases.


The Solution

The four main parties involved in the reconstruction, namely Network Rail, May Gurney, Ramboll and Mabey Bridge, formed a close working relationship to deliver a value engineering , design and build best practice, high quality precision finish design, through production to punctual delivery. Working on one line at a time, road rail vehicles removed the track and exposed the viaduct deck., which was then cut up into sections and removed. The redundant deck was removed and new decks delivered to the compound. Mabey Bridge transported each fully assembled and fully welded bespoke span and walkway unit to the site individally. Prior to installation of the decks walkway units were installed on either side of the proposed track alignment. These walkway units were used to support a bespoke gantry crane, which was used to install the decks.

Once the Down line (West bound) decks were installed, work commenced on the installation of the Up Line (East Bound) superstructure.

"The project was made complete by being awarded the pretigious accolade of Civil Engineering Achievement of the Year at the National Rail Awards 2013." 

- Julian Mason EI Director

The Results

Through close collaboration between the main contractor, designer and subcontractors the project was delivered ahead of the planned completion date. The works were completed in 14.5 weeks, rather then the 16 weeks that were planned. The viaduct was re-opened on the 18th July 2011 with limited disruption to the local communities. The successful delivery of the scheme was welcomed by the locals and deemed a success by all of the protection agencies involved.

The whole project was delivered for 34% less than the original Network Rail budget, allowing the scour protection works to be brought forward, to be delivered a year early.

- Julian Mason EI Director

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