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Diversions on A14 this weekend as two 1,000-tonne bridges are moved into place

By Paul Brackley

A view of the A14 work. Picture: Highways England
A view of the A14 work. Picture: Highways England

Enormous transporter used as 44-metre bridges are installed

The A14 diversion route during Bar Hill bridge works
The A14 diversion route during Bar Hill bridge works

Junction 29 of the A14 at Bar Hill is now closed until 6am on Monday September 17 as an extraordinary feat of engineering is completed.

Two 1,000-tonne bridges have been built at the side of the road, so that it could stay open during their construction. This weekend, they will be wheeled into place using an enormous transporter that required temporary tarmac to be laid down.

The construction team have built four abutments to support the new 44-metre bridges as well as two bridge decks at a fabrication yard less than 100 metres from the A14 and 200 metres from where they will be installed. They needed to be close as the self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) involved in moving them travels at less than 1mph.

The SPMT involved has a grid of 120 computer-controlled axles that rotate 90 degrees at the bridge section to lower the two transport bridge decks into place. Temporary tarmac will be laid for the transporter, which is controlled via a hand-held control panel.

During the road closure, diversions will be in place as traffic not needing to enter or exit the A14 at Bar Hill will be unable to travel through the junction along the A14 in either direction.

Through traffic travelling eastbound toward Cambridge will be diverted to leave the A14 at Godmanchester (junction 24) and follow a diversion via the A1198, and A428. Through traffic travelling westbound toward Huntingdon will follow the same diversion in reverse.

The team will also need to make some temporary changes to the slip road during the closure.

Drivers wishing to travel westbound from Bar Hill will be able to access the A14 towards Huntingdon but it won’t be possible to travel eastbound on the A14 from Bar Hill. Those wishing to travel eastbound will be diverted via the westbound A14 to Godmanchester and join the through traffic diversion towards Cambridge.

The old bridge will be demolished in 2019.

Meanwhile, in other work, Highways England is installing traffic lights at the Fiveways roundabout of the A11 in Suffolk.

Read more

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