Springhead Bridge

From the early concept stage, all parties adopted a collaborative way of working offered through the Scape framework and this enabled us to share knowledge, expertise and build trust and understanding from the outset.

Julia Gregory | EDC Director, Ebbsfleet Development Coporation

Complete
academic
2500+
students engaged
regeneration
£5.4m
social value generated
tools
90%
local labour

To support a new 15,000 house residential development and improve connectivity, Ebbsfleet Development Corporation commissioned a new bridge linking Springhead Park and Ebbsfleet International Railway Station.

Springhead Bridge is a key piece of strategic infrastructure, which will enable residents of the nearby Ebbsfleet Garden City to enjoy quick and easy access to the station, and only a seven-minute walk – reducing both the number of journeys and journey times.

Running from Springhead Park to Station Access Road, and suspended high above the River Ebbsfleet, the 87-metre-long bridge will support vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, ensuring new and existing communities are well-connected, in line with the government’s 20-year regeneration strategy for the area.

The project, awarded to Balfour Beatty by Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, via the Scape National Civil Engineering and Infrastructure framework forms part of a development plan to create a 21st century Garden City in North Kent.

Works included the creation of a traffic signal-controlled junction on the A2260 for the extension of the existing Springhead Parkway major access route, as well as associated highway improvements being constructed under a Section 278 agreement for adoption by Kent County Council once complete.

  • Construction of new reinforced concrete substructure inside permanent cofferdams.
  • Creation of reinforced soil embankments and installation of piled foundations within the flood plain of Ebbsfleet River.
  • Installation of new weathering steel superstructure and reinforced concrete bridge deck.
  • Extension of new major access route serving the proposed countryside residential development site including kerbing, pavements, signage, road-markings, drainage, lighting and traffic signal equipment with landscaped verges and footways/cycleway alongside the carriageway.
  • Diversion of existing Public Footpath (NU14) connection to NU20
  • Installing signalised A2260 junction and resurfacing of the existing carriageway.

The most significant challenge was the installation of the sheet-piled cofferdams and the excavation, propping and backfilling of the same.

Access - On the north side of the project, space was a challenge. The embankment and access road were to be kept clear with the High-Speed line, so engineering precision was needed throughout. Engineers worked within only a few millimetres to ensure the steel beams fitted correctly.

Water - Working over the water and constantly pumping out while maintaining a clean water course was necessary to comply with the Environmental Agency’s requirements.

The project team donated eight tonnes of topsoil to local charity, No Walls Gardens, which has been used for landscaping work at a new community garden at St Boltolph’s Church. The charity, also a social enterprise, specialises in community gardening projects and teaching skills to volunteers including ex-offenders, disabled people, recovering addicts and those who are long-term unemployed.

Balfour Beatty are committed to building the workforce of the future through apprenticeship schemes and work placement opportunities. The team engaged with more than 2,100 students from local schools, colleges and universities and offered work experience to over and under 18s, as well as welcoming volunteers.

The project has won bronze in the Building and Construction category at the Green Apple Awards for Environmental Best Practice 2019. This recognises environmental best practice, in particular the installation of a pontoon bridge across the river for the workforce, to eliminate unnecessary vehicle movements, the diversion of 8,000m3 of non-hazardous soft material from landfill by sending it to a local land restoration site and the use of approved recycled crushed concrete for all under-road construction.

The project has even involved in the discovery of archaeological items dating back 2,000 years, at the site where the new bridge is being created.

At university you are taught the theory, but it’s good to come on site and see it in practice. I was particularly interested in the BIM integrated system used by the Balfour Beatty engineers to locate and store the data about the bridge and how this information could be retrieved digitally whilst on site. This was a very positive experience.

Jose Mauro dos Santos
Graduate Civil Engineer, University of Greenwich

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Project Statistics

Project value

£16 million

Sector

Infrastructure

Social Value Generated

£5.4m

Spend with SMEs

£6.8m

Local spend within 20 miles

79%

Local labour within 40 miles

90%

Apprenticeship weeks delivered

361

Considerate Constructor Score

44/50

Project procured via

Scape Civil Engineering framework - first generation

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