Long John Hill, Norwich

A rail bridge demolition project in Long John Hill Norwich for Volker Fitzpatrick

Demolition work Norwich

Downwell carried out demolition work Norwich. We were appointed by Volker Fitzpatrick to demolish a rail bridge spanning Long John Hill in Norwich. The road beneath the bridge had been closed for some time due to the bridge becoming unstable. To enable the trains to continue running above the arch of the bridge have to be filled with a major propping detail.

  • The new bridge had been being built on site for several months before the demolition was due to start. The plan was to demolish the old bridge and then wheel the new bridge into position.
  • All of the road surfaces were protected on both sides of the bridge using plywood sheeting. This would help to reduce scaring to the road caused by the falling debris and movements from the plant tracks.
  • The power to the overhead cables had to be isolated and tracks had to be removed from above the bridge.
  • Side props from beneath the arch were removed, with the main central section left in. These props would be pulled form the rubble as the bridge is demolished.
  • The ballast was dug from the top of the bridge by 2 no. 8t excavators. The ballast was then removed and the soil behind the abutments was dug out, down to just below the cut line. The excavation was then battered back away from the bridge.
  • From Long John Hill 2 no. 20t excavators with pneumatic breakers were tasked with demolishing the bridge. They were positioned on each side of the bridge working toward the centre. the bridge was broken to approximately 2m from the required finish level.
  • To get down to the final finish level the remaining trimming was completed by hand. Operatives used 110v breakers to trim the brickwork to the required level.
  • All of the brick arisings and the now redundant props were cleared away from beneath the bridge. The brick arisings were sent to a recycling facility whilst the props were reclaimed for future use.
  • The new bridge could now be placed into position by slowly and skillfully manoeuvring the bridge it its new position the self propelled modular transporter (spmt)
  • Once the new bridge was in position the previously excavated material was then backfilled and compacted using remote controlled compactors.

The project was an overall success with no issues arising during the possession. Volker Fitzpatrick were extremely pleased with our performance and sent us the following message after the project.

On behalf of ARC, I would like to thank you (Downwell) for the service you provided over the 75hr possession at Long John Hill during the week 22 works.

The works undertaken by you and your operatives enabled to works to be undertaken without any accidents and ahead of programme, please pass our thanks on to everyone involved.

The whole bridge reconstruction was a huge success and we have received a great deal of praise from Network Rail and our Senior Managers.

I was very proud to be part of the winning team and we could not have done this without your involvement in the planning and safe executing the works.

Great collaborative team effort.Mark Taylor Projects Manager for ARC 

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Project Name:
Long John Hill

Long John Hill, Norwich, Norfolk

Volker Fitzpatrick

Project Dates:
August 2016

Project Value:



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