The scheme involved the replacement of LEC1/64 Orphanage Road Underbridge. The existing structure was a single span 25m wide structure carrying four track of the WCML and a good siding over a main arterial road into Watford. The structure was replaced with a new 450t concrete structure during a 100hr OROR possession Easer 2015.

Installation of “adder fencing” and ecological surveillance in advance of the main works

All design associated with the scheme including pre-mobilisation site investigation

Installation of piled retaining walls adjacent to existing structure

Construction of 450t concrete structure off line

Grit blast, painting and repair of adjacent structure including metalock cast iron repairs

Main works during 100hr OROR possession

Temporary support of primary signaling infrastructure using bespoke cable stayed bridge

Removal and reinstatement of four tracks of WCML and goods siding at Watford Junction Station – including OLE and signaling disconnections

Demolition of existing structure

Replacement of existing structure with 450t concrete deck using self-propelled modular transporter.Reinstatement works.

This scheme was single sourced to MPB Structures by Network Rail via an ECI arrangement due to the complexity of the scheme and the confidence Network Rail had in MPB to successfully complete the project.


The preconstruction phase of the works posed significant challenges as the road that the structure carried the railway over was a main arterial route into Watford with significant pedestrian and vehicular traffic. MPB worked closely with Network Rail to negotiate the road and footpath closures and compressed the construction programme accordingly to meet the council’s aspirations. Access for the scheme was also problematic and MPB played a key role in securing the compound and construction areas with adjacent land owners. The project programme also had to be integrated into the wider Watford Area Remodeling Project which required significant communication with the project teams to ensure the project was given priority in the highly sought after Easter blockade.

 In advance of the main work the main signaling cables for the area needed to be supported over a 45m span. This was achieved using a bespoke cable stayed structure designed and build by MPB.

 The successful execution of the OROR possession resulted in over 4000 man hours completed without incident or injury. This technically and logistically challenging scheme was highly commended by the Network Rail team and was considered one of the biggest successes of the Easer 2015 blockade nationally.


Orphanage Road, West Midlands


Network Rail


£2-3 Million