Cardiff Road Bridge Demolition
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Demolition of Cardiff Road Bridge

Client: Network Rail, Carillion

Value: £175,000


  • Demolition
  • Rail
  • 25m long, steel girder and brick arch ‘road over rail’ bridge
  • Possession working
  • Demolition sequence design
  • ‘On track’ structural demolition
  • 30 operatives working 4 shifts over Christmas Day & Boxing Day


The Great Western Main Line is one of the country’s most important arterial routes, linking London and the south-east to Bristol, Wales and the west. Network Rail is currently electrifying the line by installing 25kV AC Electrified Overhead Line Equipment (OLE).

As part of the scheme, the B4237 Cardiff Road overbridge in Newport was designated as requiring reconstruction to accommodate the OLE. Walters were faced with the difficult task of removing the twin span bridge deck, whilst working adjacent to live traffic, during a blockade of the railway line on Christmas Day and Boxing Day 2015.

This job, along with the Somerton Road bridge demolition project (undertaken concurrently with Cardiff Road Bridge), signified Walters’s first major venture into working ‘on track’ in the rail sector.


Walters engaged with a trusted specialist temporary works design partner, to study historical records of the bridge construction and develop a safe demolition sequence. Once finalised, the demolition sequence was submitted to Carillion and Network Rail for review and design checking.

Walters undertook the removal of the bridge using a combination of demolition specific machines and attachments ranging in weight up to 50t. Over 30 directly-employed demolition operatives, all of whom had received rail specific training, took part in the scheme over a 48hr period spanning Christmas Day and Boxing Day 2015.

Rail track protection system.

A bespoke rail track protection system was designed and laid in the form of polystyrene blocks and hardwood timber mats, allowing Walters specialist demolition plant to access the rail and demolish the structure to the agreed sequence.


All arisings from the demolition were removed from the track protection deck to local, off-track storage areas by articulated dump trucks. Once the ‘on-track’ phase of the work was completed, Walters removed all rubble, soil and steel arisings from site to allow the bridge reconstruction works to continue.

The works were completed successfully within the allocated abnormal possession period, allowing Carillion to commence reconstruction works.

Follow this link to view a short timelapse video of this contract

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