Watch: Dramatic footage of landmark bridge demolished to make way for HS2

The Heartlands Parkway bridge in Saltley has been demolished for works to begin on the Washwood Heath depot

A bridge in Birmingham has been demolished to make way for the construction of the northern section of HS2’s Phase One route between London and the West Midlands.

Video footage shows the moment the Heartlands Parkway bridge in Saltley - which originally connected the A47 with a nearby industrial park - is removed so work can begin on the Washwood Heath train depot.

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The bridge was demolished to open up the path of the HS2 line into the new Curzon Street Station in Birmingham city centre.

HS2’s contractors Balfour Beatty VINCI are now set to begin works on the Washwood Heath depot.

The Heartlands Parkway bridge originally connected the A47 with a nearby industrial park

What will the Washwood Heath depot be used for?

The depot will be constructed next to the railway, which will be HS2’s central control centre and maintenance depot.

It will include a rolling stock maintenance building, carriage wash, automatic vehicle inspection building and 14 sidings where trains can be stored overnight.

HS2 managers add that 500 long-term jobs will be offered at the depot.

At a glance: HS2 6 key points

  • HS2 is a new high speed railway linking up London, the Midlands, the North and Scotland serving over 25 stations, including eight of Britain’s 10 largest cities and connecting around 30 million people.
  • The construction of the new railway is split into three phases – Phase One linking London and the West Midlands; Phase 2a linking the West Midlands and the North via Crewe; and Phase 2b completing the railway to Manchester and Leeds.
  • The creation of Birmingham’s Curzon Street station could result in 36,000 new jobs.
  • A review in 2019 estimated the project High Speed 2 project would cost between £80.7 billion and £106 billion - The Green Party is against the project - saying the money would be better spent on local transport links and calling it an ‘act of ecocide’.
  • Campaign groups, as well as the Wildlife Trust and the National Trust, also oppose the project based on concerns about destruction of local biodiversity.
  • Stage one of HS2, which will run from London to Birmingham is still going ahead, and Stage Two’s eastern line was due to run through West Yorkshire, but since the first lockdown, no further details on that front ever emerged. Whether or not Stage Two’s western line, which would link Birmingham to Manchester, will still go ahead, is unclear.
The bridge has been demolished In preparation for the construction of the northern section of HS2’s Phase One route between London and the West Midlands

What have HS2 said about the demolition of the Saltley bridge in their own words?

Jean-Baptiste Tessier, Construction Director at Balfour Beatty VINCI said: “The demolition of the A47 bridge signifies yet another milestone in the delivery of the northern section of the UK’s high-speed railway, paving the way for the new HS2 route into Curzon Street Station.

“Over the course of four weekends, our expert team safely and successfully removed the structure, working alongside Network Rail and Birmingham City Council to reduce disruption to the travelling public, wherever possible.”

Patrick Cawley, Director of On Network Works for HS2 Ltd and Network Rail, added: “We kept passengers on the move over the affected weekends, following close collaboration with our train company partners and Balfour Beatty VINCI.

The A47 Heartlands Bridge demolition was a highly complex project affecting major pieces of rail infrastructure: although the bridge had been out of use for some time, it crossed the busy Birmingham to Derby line. Our Asset Protection Engineers worked with HS2 Engineers to allow them to safely complete the work while causing the least amount of disruption possible.”

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