The final part is an 80-metre section of earthworks which was handed over this week. Two bridges and an underpass have also been built to take local roads and a footpath East West Rail, as well as 3.4km of adjacent earthworks for the line where it crosses HS2. HS2 contractors will now concentrate on completing the 2-mile-long Calvert cutting.
Joint working was particularly important during the realignment of Gawcott Road when there were problems diverting a gas main diversion. Throughout the work, HS2 liaised closely with EWR so that the installation of communications cables whilst problems with the gas main were resolved.
HS2's main works contractor EKFB comprising Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and Bam Nuttall constructed the earthworks and bridges. The East West Rail Alliance that is delivering East West Rail is a group comprising Network Rail, Atkins, Laing O'Rourke and VolkerRail.
To integrate and optimise the delivery of both HS2 and East West Rail, the main bridges and earthworks were handed over in sections during the last year. The bridge carrying Addison Road is similar to but smaller than the main intersection bridge, whilst Gawcott Road is a reinforced concrete-box type underpass.
Rail Minister Huw Merriman said: “The completion of this work marks a significant milestone for two of the country's most important rail infrastructure projects and it's great to see such strong progress being made as we press ahead with delivering both HS2 and East West Rail.
“These new railway lines will transform journeys for millions and the success of the work at this crucial site is another example of this Government delivering on its commitment to invest in infrastructure across the country to improve connectivity and grow the economy.”
HS2 Ltd's Senior Project Manager Hugo Rebelo said: “HS2 will dramatically improve journeys between London, Birmingham and the major cities of the north but it's vital that we also maintain and enable links for local communities during construction.
“That's why we have been working closely with the East West Rail Alliance to get this crucial section into position and I'd like to thank everyone involved in getting us to this important moment for both our projects.”
Mark Cuzner Alliance Director for East West Rail Phase 2 (EWR2) project said: “We are very pleased to receive this final handover from HS2. This marks the completion of all earthworks and bridges required for the East West rail services between Bicester and Bletchley. This final connection will enable the railway systems installation to proceed in readiness for the opening of the new railway.”
EKFB's Project Director, Mimi El-Sanhouri, said: “EKFB is delighted to hand over a complex 3.4km section of the East West Rail track to the Alliance – a great milestone for our construction programme. This area in Buckinghamshire is a crucial interface for two major infrastructure projects and in order to reduce disruption for residents, achieve maximum delivery efficiency and reduce costs, EKFB carried out the earthworks, alongside our own delivery programme for High Speed Two.”