THE FIRST person has officially walked on top of record long HS2 bridge near Buckinghamshire.

The HS2 Colne Valley Viaduct is also the country’s longest railway bridge stretching more than two miles when completed - from Hillingdon through Denham to the Chiltern tunnel. 

HS2 minister Huw Merriman took a walk on the first 480m of the viaduct to admire the “extraordinary feat of engineering and architecture” on Monday (January 16).

For the past seven months, the giant 700 tonne bridge building machines have created the viaduct over lakes and waterways in the River Colne area near the M25.

Bucks Free Press: The bridge is made using deck segments, each weighing 140 tonnesThe bridge is made using deck segments, each weighing 140 tonnes (Image: HS2 Ltd)

Mr Merriman said: “This is an extraordinary feat of engineering and architecture, designed to enable spectacular views across a beautiful part of our British countryside which is being preserved and protected by this project.

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“It was incredible to be the first person to officially walk on top of it today – another milestone for this monumental project which will transform journeys for people up and down the country, creating almost 30,000 jobs and providing a low carbon alternative to cars for decades to come.”

The massive launching girder measuring 160m is the only one of its kind operating in the UK. It’s used to lift giant concrete deck segments forming the arch of the bridge into position before it moves to the next position.

When the construction is complete, the temporary factor used to cast the segments and the surrounding buildings will be removed so that the are between the viaduct and the Chiltern tunnel can be turned into chalk grassland and woodland as part of HS2’s ‘green corridor’ project.