HS2 Presents Oxford Canal Viaduct Design

HS2 Ltd has published the first images of the planned Oxford Canal Viaduct to be constructed between Banbury and Daventry – roughly halfway between London and Birmingham.

The local community will now be able to give feedback on the design. The proposed design shows a low-lying viaduct made of three pre-stressed concrete spans taking the high-speed line over the canal, towpath and country lane near the village of Wormleighton. Its total length will measure 62.5m.

The Oxford Canal Viaduct is one of 15 bridges and viaducts along the railway’s central section that is being designed by main works contractor EKFB in collaboration with architects Moxon and design partners ASC (Arcadis, Setec, Cowi).

A CGI artist's impression of the HS2 Oxford Canal Viaduct
A CGI artist’s impression of the HS2 Oxford Canal Viaduct

The aim of the design is to reduce the visual impact on boaters and walkers, permitting views of the surrounding landscape. On the sides where the viaduct faces the canal and towpath it will feature rough-cut masonry.

The Oxford Canal opened in the late 18th century. It is 75 miles long and was designed to transport coal from the Coventry coalfields to Oxford and the Thames.

Online Design Engagement

HS2 Ltd launched the online design engagement on 1 April. One of the central questions it is seeking to answer is whether the masonry finish on the wall in front of the abutment should also be used for the two sets of piers supporting the structure.

Ambrose McGuire, Project Client Director, HS2 Ltd, said:

“The Oxford Canal Viaduct is one of eight key design elements on the central section of the HS2 route and I’m pleased to see the amount of thought that’s been put into the design. The building of the canals revolutionised transportation and helped to build modern Britain so it’s great to see how our contemporary design includes a nod back to those eighteenth-century pioneers.

“We’re keen to hear what the community has to say and I would encourage anyone with an interest in the bridge to have a look at the designs and let us know their views.”

HS2 Ltd will also hold a series of webinars about the design behind the viaduct, given by the engineers and architects involved, to provide additional context for the local community.

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