Plemstall Lane Bridge Reconstruction

Project Outline

Replacement of the existing single span underbridge on the Chester to Warrington line at Mickle Trafford with u-type steel decks on new reinforced concrete cill beams. The replacement required track removal over the bridge span allowing conventional ballasted tracks to be installed upon completion.

Key Challenges

Due to buried fuel lines in the area forming part of critical national infrastructure and restricted room for craneage, Murphy made the decision to install the bridge using a self propelled mobile transporter (SPMT). Extensive liaison with third party stakeholders was needed to enable the works.

Project Delivery and Innovations

Murphy used an innovative gantry lifting system never used on a rail project in the north west before. By designing the bridge so it could be lifted from the top and assembling the bridge at ground level, working at height risks were negated.

On previous projects, the new bridge would be assembled on site on jacks at approximately 5 metres height two weeks prior to installation. Operatives would then work on the new bridge while working at height off cherry pickers. The same process would be used for removing the existing bridge. On this occasion, Murphy using the gantry system assembled the bridge and carried out all preparation works at ground level.

The existing bridge was driven under the gantry once removed and in turn within the core weekend the bridge was set on the ground at the end of the shift. Normally this process would take a week after the core possession, therefore we reduced the project programme and the amount of plant required on site.

Key Facts

  • 175 tonne weathering steel structure installed using SPMTs
  • Extensive community engagement to coordinate road closures on a cul-de-sac
  • Using the gantry crane lifting system removed a risk, reduced the programme, reduced the amount of plant required on site and reduced the cost of the scheme


Network Rail


Mickle Trafford, Chester

Completion Date

March 2017



Well done on a very well delivered scheme, attention to detail was second to none and excellent project management from the word go. This shows what we can do with collaboration at it's best. - Craig Loftus Senior Construction Manager

Capabilities Demonstrated

  • Bridges
  • Design
  • Engineering

Related Sectors

Related News

  • 17th Nov 2017

    Ground improvements help disabled residents... Read More

  • 16th Nov 2017

    Murphy helps with new bridge over canal... Read More

View All News