The demolition of a bridge which caused the A1 to be closed at Brampton over the weekend was completed more quickly than expected, with the road opening an hour ahead of schedule.
Engineers knocked down the bridge, linking Brampton and Grafham, as part of the £1.5 billion A14 upgrade. It crossed the old A1 but was not wide enough to take the increased number of lanes which pass underneath it, close to the junction of the A1 and A14.
Cllr Jon Chitty, who took pictures of the demolition on Saturday night, described the movement of the machines used in the work as “almost balletic in quality”.
Demolition came a few days after Highways England opened a much bigger replacement bridge adjacent to the demolition site.
Mike Evans, senior stakeholder manager for the A14 upgrade at Highways England, said: “The demolition of the old road bridge between Brampton and Grafham over the A1 in Cambridgeshire, which took place overnight on Saturday went smoothly and to plan.
“We used eight excavators to crunch up the bridge deck, piers and abutments from below, protecting the A1 carriageway from the falling concrete with thick wooden beams. We then cleared the concrete and checked the carriageway before reopening it to traffic one hour early at 2pm. We have also crunched up the concrete from the bridge into smaller pieces and will reuse it elsewhere on site.”
Mr Evans said: “The location where the bridge was is now clear for us to continue building the widened A1 and the future A14.”
Cllr Chitty said: “Very impressive views and sounds. Might have been a bit noisy, but almost balletic in quality in watching all the cranes and equipment working in synchronised movement. Beautiful to see.”
There were some complaints from people living in Brampton about the noise of the demolition.
The A1 was shut completely while the demolition took place from Saturday evening overnight into Sunday and diversions were put in place.
The new bridge is 50 metres longer than the original - built around 40 years ago - so that it can span both the new, widened, A1 and the future A14, covering a total of 10 lanes.