The 158-metre-long structure was moved into place in 13 hours using a specialist push-pull jacking technique.

The ‘East M42-M6 Link Viaduct’ is one of 13 viaducts which make up HS2’s triangular Delta Junction. This section of the railway enables high speed trains to travel between London, Interchange Station in Solihull and Birmingham Curzon Street Station.

The operation was completed 10 hours ahead of schedule during a weekend road closure, enabling the motorway link roads to be opened earlier than planned.

It was delivered by a team of 25 people from specialist steelwork company Victor Buyck Steel Construction (VBSC), working on behalf of HS2’s main works contractor Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV).

HS2 Ltd, BBV and National Highways collaborated to minimise disruption for people using the roads and enabling this engineering feat to take place.

This was the second ‘launch’ of this structure to move it into its final position over both westbound and eastbound motorway link roads. In February, the first launch took the first 84 metre section of the viaduct to its halfway position over the westbound link road.

Since then, three further steel girders were welded to the back of the first section and 38 precast concrete slabs were installed to complete the 158-metre-long structure. By installing the slabs prior to launch, the number of highway closures required to finish the composite deck has been significantly reduced helping to keep future closures of the link road to a minimum.

Over the summer, a similar two-stage operation will move the identical ‘West M42-M6 Link Viaduct’ which runs parallel to the East Link Viaduct.