BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘construction’

#365daysofbiking Lane’s end

Monday March 8th 2021 – I was discussing online the other day a local lost stub of a lane that used to be Bullmoor Lane. Bullmoor Lane ran from Raikes and Chesterfield, a mile or so north of Shenstone, shadowing the Watling Street, to a junction near Wall Butts at Hilton, where it met Cranebrook Lane and Boat Lane. As a kid it was one of my first local discoveries. I loved that quiet, undulating backway, and still do.

When the M6 Toll came through at the turn of the millennium, the last half a mile of Bullmoor Lane was diverted south, to meet Cranebrook Lane without building a second flyover, leaving the old stub abandoned.

It still exists, and is now gated, but when nostalgic one can push past the gate and ride the crumbling asphalt to the edge of the new motorway, echoing in my childhood tracks.

I always find these dead, divorced and orphaned lanes a bit sad: Dark Lane at Longdon is one, just closed as out of use, like School Lane at Norton. But other lanes were lost to the toll, especially around Hammerwich and and Shenstone Park.

It’s the feeling that they hold memories, which cannot be put back, I think.

A curious bit of melancholia on the exercise ride.

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#365daysofbiking Things that happen when you’re not looking

February 14th – I haven’t been to Birmingham much this winter, and the first time passing though overground since Christmas in daylight made me stop in surprise at a building growing in the Colmore Row business area.

This office block has grown on the site of John Madin’s now demolished brutalist gem 103 Colmore Row: The former Birmingham Natwest Tower.

103 had passed its time and it is right, I guess that it has gone and change is happening. But I do miss it, it was a startlingly beautiful bit of brutalist design – a priapic monument to mammon.

The building replacing it is so far unknown to me: But it seems huge. In my head 103 fitted perfectly, in a forest of towers, but it clearly never was so, and the rising of a replacement is somehow shocking in size and imposition.

This is what change looks like. I’ll be interested to see this develop.

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#365daysofbiking Loaded:

October 19th – In telford at the other end of the journey, on the new bridge project, technicians are stud welding – mounting threaded pins to steelwork to enable attachment of another structure.

A better demonstration of the loading effect on a generator could not be found anywhere. 

Every time they weld, watch and listen to the generator.

Science in action!

#365daysofbiking An impressive span:

September 17th – At Telford, a major step in the contstruction of the new station footbridge has been taken – the deck of the main span over the ring road adjacent has been lifted into place. It’s huge.

I watched it grow from a skeletal form on the central reservation of the road system, to see it glazed clad and wired, and now it spans the roadway in parallel with the facility it is to replace.

As a design, I’m ambivalent, but it will be a much nicer, convenient thing to use. But there’s a long, long way to go yet.

At least it provided the morning commuters with an interesting spectacle.

#365daysofbiking The Crane life:

September 12th: My first trip to Telford in several weeks and the new station footbridge is making steady progress. The ring road is now closed under the bridge, and. a large crane is being assembled, presumably to lift the massive main deck into place from it’s construction point on an adjacent verge.

A queue of HGVs and machines lines up down the empty roadway. People discuss, Marshall and prepare. This is clearly to be one heck of an operation.

The rest of the project progresses: Brickwork is going up, lift machinery is taking form in the assembled bridge piers and lots of ancillary pathways and steelwork are moving into place or emerging.

This is going to be one to watch.

August 13th – A brighter day when the morning got going and I found myself visiting Telford feeling better, even if my stomach was still uncomfortable.

The footbridge project is progressing well but there still seems to be an awful lot to do: No discernible structural assembly of the lifts yet, and the access point on the west side seems miles off completion yet, although in the way these things generally do, it’ll probably come together very quickly in the end.

Interesting to note the main span mainly constructed now, and it’ll be lifted in one piece onto the piers. I’d be interested to see if that ripples the roof skin.

At the station end – which this construction is already dwarfing – there are to large, green service cabinets in position by the steps. Perhaps it’s me, but they look really, really incongruous.

This gets more and more fascinating every time I visit.

July 26th – At Telford, the new footbridge at the station continues to take shape. Steel is being erected, steps and glazing are being added and lifts seem to be going in too. 

There are now five distinct building sites that make up this construction. Getting to the right one to start work – across a railway, a major dual carriageway and slip roads – can’t be much fun!

June 25th – Over in Telford on Monday morning, sun streamed down on construction workers and engineers preparing for the following week when a huge crane will lift the first, over-railway section of the new bridge into place from where it’s being assembled right next to the westbound platform.

Last week I couldn’t work out how they were going to lift it into place with nothing to put it on – then today I realised that as well as the deck, the piers had been assembled out of their final position too – the two lattice and glass pillar towers beyond the green crane will be bolted onto the matching concrete bases each side of the railway, and the new deck bolted to it, spanning the tracks.

What I can’t work out is why they’ve fitted the glazing before they finally lift the towers – surely moving them will fleet the structure so much the glass will break?

Perhaps it’s tougher than I think… we shall see, I guess…

June 19th – Back in Telford briefly, I noted that the footbridge project is progressing apace, with both new spans being brought to sigh and assembled on the ground before being lifted onto the piers.

This is clearly a complex structure and one whose support arrangements will be very complex indeed. I notice thanks to old pal of the blog Alan Dawson that the shorter, over-railway section will be lifted into place at the end of June – but I’m unclear what it’ll be supported upon, as yet there’s not steelwork present at either side of the station to place it on.

One assumes it’ll all fall into place quickly.

You can read about the lifting project here.

April 17th – The Telford footbridge construction project continues, and there’s a really interesting stage started now; partially build sections of the bridge have been delivered as steelwork skeletons, namely a couple of lattice piers and the over railway deck section. What’s interesting is that they have been fixed temporarily on spare ground, and other parts are being welded and added. The assembled sections will be completed on the ground, and then lifted into place.

I’ve never seen this done before and passing through on a grey, drizzly afternoon it was certainly interesting to watch the engineers at work while I waited for the train.

This is certainly going to confuse people trying to work out the final layout…