The viaduct features a 25m-high gently curved truss made of weathering steel and will be the tallest structure in the sequence of viaducts and structures to make up the Curzon Street Approaches in Birmingham, central England. The approaches will take HS2 into Birmingham’s new city centre station.
Design rendering of HS2's 'Bellingham Bridge' in Birmingham, UK
The bridge will be assembled on the ground and then launched into its final position over an existing Victorian brick rail viaduct at a height of around 17m, making the whole structure 40m-high. A truss design was selected as the most efficient structural form for the launching process. HS2 expects that construction of the bridge will involve one of UK’s largest ever bridge launches.
The unveiled designs aim to create an iconic bridge to add to the city’s skyline and, according to Kay Hughes, HS2’s design director, the curved truss design was chosen to celebrate the city’s industrial heritage.
Rendering of Bellingham Bidge as part of the city’s skyline
The design for the Curzon Street Approaches section of HS2’s phase one is being developed for Balfour Beatty Vinci joint venture by a design joint venture consisting of Mott MacDonald, Systra, Weston Williamson + Partners.
Nick McGough, lead architect for the BBV Design Joint Venture, said, “The curved truss is made from weathering steel, a highly robust material that will pick up tones from the surrounding area as its protective patina develops while reducing maintenance costs across the lifespan of the high speed rail line.”
A number of refinements have been made to the design set to be submitted to Birmingham City Council. These include the lower section of the truss ‘wrapping’ underneath the viaduct deck and forming a visual connection to the steel girders of the adjacent structures. The nodes where the diagonal members meet will have curved corners to provide longevity to the steelwork whilst softening the silhouette of the bridge.
The width of the viaduct deck has been increased by 4m, allowing the bridge to carry three parallel high-speed rail tracks over the existing east-west rail line. Closer to Curzon Street, the tracks will split further to serve the seven platforms being built at the station.
The Bellingham Bridge will feature a unique light installation that will use multiple linear coloured lights to ‘paint’ the triangular structures within the new Curzon 2 viaduct. The lights installation titled Out of the blue is designed by British artist Liz West to introduce a dynamic colour palette to the apertures of the steel truss while framing views of the city.
Rendering of linear coloured lights ‘painting’ the triangular structures within the new bridge
The River Rea, a small watercourse running through the city, will pass close to the southern section of the viaduct, allowing for a 52m-long pond to be established parallel to the viaduct. The pond’s design aims to increase the resiliency of the area to flooding by providing a natural overflow for rainwater.
Originally the Curzon 2 Bridge, the structure was renamed to honour the performance of England footballer Jude Bellingham at World Cup 2022.
Trains will cross the completed truss bridge to leave the city towards Washwood Heath Depot. HS2 phase one between Birmingham and London is due to open between 2029 and 2033.