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Rebuilding London Bridge

20 March 2014

Work on the project to completely refurbish London Bridge Station is proceeding on schedule. 

The scope of the contract includes removal of the existing roof, complete demolition of all the platforms and the formation of a new concourse at ground level that will be the size of the pitch at Wembley Stadium.  This will not only increase the capacity of the station but also make it suitable for 21st century travellers.

“We’re rebuilding the whole station through nine phases of work,” said Delivery Director Clive Loosemore. “We’ve demolished three platforms completely, as well as demolishing the existing brick arches that supported these platforms, as part of Stage 1.

“To ensure that both the schedule and quality are maintained, major sections of the new platforms and the iconic ‘eyebrow’ canopies are being prefabricated off-site.”

Considerable thought and preparation went into the process before the canopy and platform sections started to arrive on-site, said Clive.

“Our canopy steel subcontractors, Prater/Watsons, created a 60-metre mock-up of the canopy steelwork and cladding at their premises at Thirsk about six months ago and used it as both a training ground for the people who would be erecting it and also allowing all stakeholders including the end-user to have the opportunity of viewing it and contributing to the final design. 

“They put it together in a couple of weeks. We were then able to take the end-users, the railway systems and maintenance people up there to have a look, as well as the architects, and get it agreed. Then we went into fabrication. The canopy prefabrication takes place in Bolton.”

Work on the canopy is split between three subcontractors, Watsons  handling the steelwork and Praters constructing the roof ‘cassettes’ or panels that have all the containment for the wiring systems. The containment and fittings are installed by NG Bailey. The new canopy will eventually cover 15 platforms; the sections, if laid end-to-end, would stretch 4km.

Meanwhile, the new platforms are being cast in sections, typically four metres by three metres, by McCans, based near Cambridge.

As is usually the case in prefabrication, the benefits are quality and time; quality is more easily assured in a factory setting rather than on-site and the sections can also be produced more rapidly.

“It’s fairly innovative and the canopy is not an easy structure. It’s curved and it rises in height as it approaches The Shard,” said Clive.

“The project’s going very well. We’re on schedule.” A recent handover of a section of the station meant that the first track and ballast could start to be installed on the newly-formed trackbed.