HS2 Obtains Planning Permission for Birmingham Viaducts

Birmingham City Council has granted planning permission to HS2 Ltd to construct two viaducts that will connect the new high-speed railway to Curzon Street Station in the centre of Birmingham.

The Curzon Street Station Approach will be made up of four connected viaducts between Duddeston Junction Viaduct and Curzon Street Station. Planning permission has now been granted for Curzon Viaduct No.3 and Lawley Middleway Viaduct, while the two other viaducts, Curzon Street No.1 and Curzon Street No.2, are undergoing their planning application.

HS2 Birmingham Viaducts
HS2 Curzon No.3 Viaduct CGI from below
David Speight, Client Project Director at HS2 Ltd said:

“We are very pleased that Birmingham City Council’s planning committee approved the plans for these viaducts. This decision represents a significant approval for HS2 in Birmingham city centre and means we are on track to bring high speed rail to the West Midlands, increasing capacity and connectivity across the UK. In addition, our design refinements on the viaducts will bring a range of extra benefits, including reducing the construction time and materials, reducing the amount of carbon we need on the project.”

The viaducts are being designed by a joint venture of Mott MacDonald and Systra and architects Weston Williamson and Partners. The design has undergone numerous refinements to enable a shorter construction programme that uses less concrete.

The Curzon Viaduct No.3 will be 300 metres long and rise between 5 and 6 metres above ground level. Meanwhile, the Lawley Middleway viaduct will be approximately 213 metres long.

Nick McGough, Director at Weston Williamson and Partners said:

“The key design challenge of Curzon 3 was to address varied sites with differing technical requirements whilst providing both a level of consistency as well as ensuring the viaduct contributes positively to its surroundings. Toward the HS2 Curzon Street Station the viaduct is over 60m wide and so the design maximises daylight under the structure through the introduction of light slots with a unique lightweight parapet design. Over the Digbeth Canal the opportunity is taken to reference Birmingham’s canalside heritage whilst the large span required over Lawley Middleway is achieved through the use of heroic weathering steel girders which arch over the carriageway.”

Near Curzon Street Station, the Curzon Street No.3 Viaduct widens into four separate decks to maximise daylight in the public space beneath it. The design also includes V piers to provide support to the viaducts while taking up less room at ground level.

Where the viaduct crosses the Digbeth Canal, these concrete V piers will be substituted with four inverted steel piers that reference the heritage of canal-side cranes in Birmingham. Digbeth Canal will therefore remain a visually attractive area that combines the 21st century HS2 infrastructure with the 19th Century Digbeth Canal area.

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