A 2,000 tonne concrete subway has been driven into place under Hackney Wick in four days.
The giant construction was built on land and then laid under the railway station over the bank holiday weekend.
Tracks and platforms were removed, the land excavated and the subway driven into place using self-propelled modular transporters. Contractor VolkerFitzpatrick then rebuilt the station so train services could run as normal from Tuesday, April 18.
The subway is part of a £25 million scheme to transform the station which neighbours the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park . It will provide access at ground level, north to south, beneath the existing railway line, and replace the footbridge which was taken out in early February. Network Rail is delivering the project as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan, on behalf of London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), which is funding the scheme.
Tower Hamlets Council and Hackney Council have both contributed £1million towards the refurbishment of the station which is expected to generate opportunities including new jobs, investment and affordable housing.
LLDC chief executive David Goldstone said: “Installing the new subway and rebuilding the track in such short time is a fantastic feat of engineering. These works are vital to improve connections for existing residents in Hackney Wick and to support the thousands of new jobs and homes coming to the area.”
In the coming months, work will take place to install an illuminated glass wall through the subway to separate paying customers using the station and those who want to use it to walk through.
A new entrance and ticket hall is also being built at ground floor level along with new stairs and two new lifts, due for completion in early 2018.
Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia Richard Schofield said: “We’re committed to improving the rail network for the growing number of passengers using it.
“The completion of the subway marks a major milestone in the project and will make a huge improvement to the way people access the station and new facilities when the work is completed next year.”
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