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Datum Part Of Ordsall Chord Success

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Datum Group engineers providing monitoring support services to the £85 million Ordsall Chord rail bridge in Manchester.

They have worked on the 1,600-tonne rail bridge linking Manchester Victoria, Oxford Road and Piccadilly Stations for the past 11 months.

The stunning engineering feat was opened just before Christmas to much acclaim and will provide hugely improved transport links across the North West.

Datum CEO Rory O’Rourke, said: “We are proud to be part of the team at Ordsall Chord. It is a terrific feat of engineering and we were delighted to be able to help.

“We were initially contracted to supply weather and temperature monitoring which was crucially in assisting with the construction phase of the bridge, assisting with concrete pours for example.

“We provided structural monitoring during the first phase of the stressing of the hangers and then, in partnership with BDI, installed strain gauges to each of the hangers and manually monitored the entire structure during tensioning.

“Our team worked around the clock to provide monitoring to the second tensioning phase and then finally installed vibration monitors.

“It was a terrific project to work on and I’m very proud of our team of skilled engineers.”

Ordsall Chord is home to George Stephenson’s 1830 Grade I-listed bridge over the Irwell and the site was also the birthplace of the world’s first passenger trains.

It consists of 300m of track and a series of bridges and viaducts. The single-span network arch bridge will be the second-longest in the world to carry twin heavy-rail tracks.

Experts believe an expansion of Piccadilly station is required to allow the Chord to meet its potential – but this project has been thrown into doubt by ministers.

A Skanska-BAM Nuttall joint venture was appointed as an alliance partner and awarded a contract to deliver the Ordsall Chord project as part of Network Rail’s £1bn+ rail upgrade plan for the North of England.

Skanska Executive Vice President, Thomas Faulkner,  said: “This is a major engineering achievement that will not only improve connectivity but also open up opportunities for people within the region.

“It’s a historic moment, for the delivery team, for Manchester and for the legacy it will leave for the railway and we are proud of the part we have played.”

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* Images and video courtesy of Network Rail

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