New railway bridge gives Doncaster airport link road plan a lift

A 1,000-tonne Liebherr crane lifts an 80-tonne girder into place.
A 1,000-tonne Liebherr crane lifts an 80-tonne girder into place.
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Two huge steel beams weighing 80 tonnes have been lifted into place over the East Coast Mainline in a night-time operation as part of an airport link road scheme in Doncaster.

A 1,000 tonne crane was used in the operation on the Finningley and Rossington Regeneration Route Scheme.

A second and final pair of girders will be hoisted into place this weekend by Doncaster Council and main contractor Carillion, to form the 137ft span bridge.

Network Rail has agreed to halt trains during the process.

Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones said: “This important project is a major engineering feat which will help to deliver jobs and growth in Doncaster. Building work continues to motor along at pace with the link road scheme on course to open early next year.

“The FARRRS link road is the catalyst for huge levels of private sector investment in Doncaster in the shape of the £400million iPort development and 1,200 homes on the former Rossington Colliery site. It will also help to increase passenger numbers and business growth at the airport.”

The first phase of £56 million FARRRS link is creating a three-mile route from junction 3 of the M18 to Parrott’s Corner on the A638 south of Doncaster and is on track to be complete and open in early 2016.

Steve Gill, managing director, of Doncaster Sheffield Airport said: “It is great to see this transformational project reaching such a major milestone which brings us ever closer to having the much-needed link road open. We have been pleased to hear feedback from our airline partners who are impressed with the ambition and drive behind this new road.”

Tim Love, director of strategic land at Harworth Estates, the developer behind the 1,200-home residential development at the former Rossington Colliery, said: “We’re delighted at the speed that FARRRS is being built, typified by the beam lift work taking place well on time.

“All of this work will allow the construction of new homes to begin in the spring, complementing the economic growth that FARRRS is supporting for the benefit of the borough and its residents.”

The East Coast Mainline bridge is the second bridge to carry the link road over railway lines after 27 pre-cast concrete beams were used to create a bridge over the Brancliffe to Kirk Sandall railway line in autumn.

The bridge over the River Torne connecting FARRRS to the residential development and to Rossington is already complete and work is also progressing on two new bridges where FARRRS crosses the River Torne and the Mother Drain at Parrott’s Corner.

Surveys, design work and business case preparation for the second phase is under way. This will complete the link to Doncaster Sheffield Airport with the aim of delivering further economic and transport benefits for the area.

Subject to approval this phase of works will start shortly after the first phase is completed.

The first phase of FARRRS received financial assistance from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund. It is supported regionally by Harworth Estates, the Peel Group, Verdion, the Growing Places Fund and the Local Enterprise Partnership.