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'Bridge of size' gateway to the East

PUBLISHED: 21:46 31 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:09 05 October 2010

Britain's biggest mobile crane helps build new East London line extension., the crane lifted up a 350 tone bridge across Shoreditch High Street. The bridge will carry the East London railway line over the bussy thoroughfare when the extension is complete in 2010. Picture date: Saturday 29th March 2008. Picture credit:Carmen Valino

Britain's biggest mobile crane helps build new East London line extension., the crane lifted up a 350 tone bridge across Shoreditch High Street. The bridge will carry the East London railway line over the bussy thoroughfare when the extension is complete in 2010. Picture date: Saturday 29th March 2008. Picture credit:Carmen Valino

A NEW landmark has appeared as a 'gateway' to London's East End. But it took Britain's biggest mobile crane to lift and lower it into place. The huge engineering feat took place at the weekend when this 350-tonne 100ft long steel structure was carefully slotted across the A10 at Shoreditch, inch by inch

By Mike Brooke

A NEW landmark has appeared as a 'gateway' to London's East End.

But it took Britain's biggest mobile crane to lift and lower it into place.

The huge engineering feat took place at the weekend when this 350-tonne steel structure was carefully slotted across the A10 Shoreditch High-street, inch by inch, at the old Bishopsgate rail goods terminal.

The 100ft long bridge leads nowhere at the moment.

But in two years it will carry the new extension to the East London Line from Whitechapel to Dalston.

It took two hours for the crane to do its work on Saturday morning, but the rest of the weekend for teams of engineers to secure it in place with all the nuts and bolts tightened up before a concrete deck is added to carry the tracks.

Traffic below, meanwhile, had to be diverted on both Saturday and Sunday while the street was closed off.

The extended East London Line reopens in early 2010 as part of the new London Overground network which took over the North London service in November.

The £1 billion scheme will see trains running direct from Dalston Junction all the way down to West Croydon, through Shoreditch, Whitechapel, Shadwell, Wapping and under the Thames to New Cross and beyond.

New stops are being added at Shoreditch High Street, where the bridge was installed, at Hoxton, Haggerston and Dalston Junction.

These are not so much new stations, more like old ones coming back to life again after decades gathering dust.

The new extension runs along the disused Kingsland viaduct that carried the Old Broad Street main-line railway which closed in the 1980s, along with the original Dalston Junction station. There were also stations once at Shoreditch (opposite St Leonard's Church) and at Haggerston which closed in the 1940s.

The new 'bow string' bridge across Shoreditch High-street, shaped like a massive archer's bow, was put together on the site of the now-flattened old Bishopsgate goodsyard from where it was manoeuvred into position.

mike.brooke@archant.co.uk

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