HS2 completes 200m porous portal for the 700m Burton Green Tunnel

HS2

HS2, UK,

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HS2’s main works civils contractor in the West Midlands, Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV), has completed the construction of the 200m porous portal of HS2’s Burton Green Tunnel.

The portal is the southern entrance to the 700-metre green tunnel, which will carry HS2 trains through Burton Green. Once built, the tunnel will have green space over the top, covered with trees and plants, providing a new landscape for the local community.

Over 160 roof segments have been installed as part of the 200-metre long concrete porous portal, with each segment weighing over 20 tonnes. The porous portal features a series of vents in the roof that transition HS2 trains leaving and entering the tunnel. The pressured air wave produced by the ‘piston effect’ of the train moving through the tunnel will be channelled through the vents.

“We’re making great progress with the construction of the Burton Green Tunnel, with the south portal now complete. The next construction phase will be the tunnel section to the north, where a cutting is being excavated, diaphragm walls built, a concrete roof put on before soil is backfilled over the top ready for planting,” says Senior Project Manager at Balfour Beatty VINCI Rupert Blake. 

“A key feature is the realignment of the Kenilworth Greenway, which will follow the tunnel’s route and have large-scale planting around it. It will also provide connectivity to existing footpaths which will run across the top of the tunnel, providing green spaces for the local community to enjoy,” says Senior Project Manager at Balfour Beatty VINCI Rupert Blake. 

To avoid unnecessary HGV movements, the soil generated by the excavation will be used as part of the wider landscaping plans, sensitively integrating the railway into the local area, reconnecting wildlife habitats and enhancing biodiversity.

Once construction and landscape work is complete, the Greenway will be restored close to its original alignment. It runs across the top of the new tunnel and provides a link from Burton Green to Kenilworth and Berkswell for walkers, cyclists, and horse-riders.

Large-scale planting of native trees and shrubs will provide biodiverse habitats for wildlife, shield the Greenway visibly from the new railway, and re-establish vegetated connections to Black Waste Wood and Little Poors Wood.

Source: © High Speed Two Ltd 2023

Image source: © High Speed Two Ltd 2023

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