Balfour Beatty Vinci, the main works contractor in the Midlands for the High Speed 2 (HS2) railway line project, has removed a 4,000t bridge over the M42 motorway in the UK. 

This is part of the preparations to make way for the new railway line near the Interchange Station site in Solihull. 

Balfour Beatty VINCI is Balfour’s 50/50 joint venture with VINCI.  

A team of 20 demolition experts from Armac completed the demolition in a 52-hour window on behalf of the main contractor.

HS2 senior project manager Alan Payne said: “This operation, delivered by local specialist firm Armac, is another step forward in the construction of HS2 in the Midlands.” 

The operation was coordinated with National Highways. 

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The motorway section was opened between Junctions 6 and 7 three and a half hours earlier than scheduled, minimising disruption for road users. 

The M42 was closed in both directions to safely facilitate the demolition. 

The demolition team used a 100t excavator and seven 50t demolition excavators, along with breaker and cruncher attachments, to complete the task.  

Balfour Beatty VINCI construction director Oliver Shore said: “It’s the second bridge removal we’ve delivered along the same stretch of motorway in just six months.  

“Like the previous demolition last summer, every effort was made to minimise the impact on road users through careful planning and close collaboration between HS2 and National Highways.” 

The second bridge’s demolition was brought forward after it was deemed unsafe following incidents involving two drivers striking the bridge. 

The development comes after the HS2 rail project also finished an extensive construction project at Streethay near the city of Lichfield in August last year.  

In addition, Balfour Beatty VINCI will commence construction of a new twin box structure over the M42 this year.  

Enabling works are set to begin in March, with piling scheduled for later this year.  

The new structure, spanning 300m in length and 25m in width, will be built while maintaining traffic flow on the motorway. 

HS2 has also constructed a new road structure and roundabout to improve traffic flow around the railway line and provide access to the new Interchange Station.