A DARLINGTON bridge builder has played a key role in Britain’s largest current road upgrade in Cambridgeshire.

Cleveland Bridge was contracted to design, fabricate and install a 750-metre viaduct bridge to span the Rover Great Ouse and its flood plain as part of Highway England’s £1.5bn A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme.

Containing 6,000 tonnes of steel and comprising 76 separate main girders and 800 cross girders, the structure was fabricated in Darlington before components were transported to the site by road over a period of months.

The majority of the main girders are 40 metres long, two metres deep and weigh 50 tonnes.

The section crossing the river has the longest span, so a complex series of girders has been installed to carry the weight of the greater load.

A temporary platform was constructed under the length of the new bridge to provide a solid base for cranes and lorries working on the installation.

However, to reduce time and site congestion, Cleveland Bridge used a 600-tonne crawler crane for the installation, which could lift all components for each section from a single position at the side of the bridge.

Chris Droogan, managing director, said: “The River Great Ouse viaduct is a showpiece element of the A14 project and is worthy of its place as one of Cleveland Bridge’s most significant structures in our history.

“It is also an excellent example of the ingenuity of our designers, engineers and the highly collaborative relationship our site team has with our client on the project.

“The viaduct will have a major impact on improving this part of the UK road network and we are very proud to have played a part in its development.”