Bridge launch brings 7,000 East Mids jobs a step closer

The bridge launch in action

Some 7,000 jobs took a step nearer over the weekend, as a bridge weighing almost 1,200 tonnes of concrete and steel was successfully launched across the M1.

The bridge, when opened in autumn 2018, will form part of the Kegworth Bypass and will reduce the amount of traffic and HGVs travelling through the village by around 60%.

It forms part of the wider infrastructure improvements being made as part of SEGRO Logistics Park East Midlands Gateway, the 700-acre ‘inland port’ which combines links to the M1 and East Midlands Airport. It will also include a 50 acre rail freight terminal and is set to create around 7,000 jobs.

The project team from SEGRO, Roxhill and Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd worked with Highways England and the councils at Leicestershire, Nottingham and Derby as well as the emergency services and teams at East Midlands Airport to ensure the smooth running of the operation which saw the M1 close from junctions 23A to junction 24.

In the late hours of Friday 11th May, the section of the motorway was closed and the diversion was put in place, the equipment moved into place and so began the start of the race against time to get the structure across the motorway.

Throughout Saturday, the bridge was manoeuvred over the motorway with engineers conducting precision checks and balances throughout the process with final adjustments made prior to the bridge deck landing on the bearings. Engineers conducted the safety checks and the M1 was handed back to Highways England to be reopened.

Andrew Pilsworth, SEGRO’s business unit director, national logistics, said: “The successful installation is the result of an extensive programme of planning and coordination with our partners, and we thank them for their ongoing collaboration and support.

“We would also like to thank all motorists who experienced delays to their journey over the weekend for their patience and understanding.

“The SEGRO Logistics Park East Midlands Gateway is a hugely important development, not just for the region’s economy, but the UK on the whole. The bridge is key part of the development and will bring great benefits to the local community and we’re looking forward to it opening to traffic later this year.”