2,607 tonnes of steel make up the Lea Viaduct across the Lancaster Canal and a railway line

The 250-metre Lea Viaduct is part of Lancashire City Council’s Preston Western Distributor project, a bypass that links the A583, west of Preston, to 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, and relieving congestion.

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.

The viaduct was installed during a six-week programme using a 600-tonne crawler crane supplied by Weldex.

Lea Viaduct is the first of three bridges produced and installed by Cleveland Bridge UK for the scheme. Next up will be the Becconsall bridge and the Savick Brook Viaduct, 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.”

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