Reconstruction of Black Rabbit & Peppering Underbridges, Arundel


Bam Nuttall for Network Rail

Project Description

This project was for the superstructure reconstruction of adjacent railway bridges crossing the two ends of a loop in the River Arun, 1.5 km north of Arundel Station. The twin-track bridges were similar in structure, each being of three spans with intermediate piers and brick abutments. Ten years earlier the central ‘six-foot’ girders of the original 3-girder riveted spans had been replaced to an intricate design by Cass Hayward as a short-term measure. The new bridges were reconstructed using Network Rail’s standard (SDD) single track U-deck design which had been developed from Cass Hayward’s original idea. This application to a pair of 3 span bridges may be unprecedented and all 12 U-decks were installed in the same 74 hour track possession.

Cass Hayward Role(s)

  • Designer of 1999 scheme for replacement of six-foot girders
  • Detailed design for the superstructure reconstructions
  • Assessment of capability of existing foundations for re-use
  • Temporary works design

Project Statistics

  • Completed October 2009
  • Contract Value £6.2m
  • Six spans 12 to 13m in length

Special Features

  • Difficult access - located within low-lying, flood-vulnerable, farmland bordering two areas of SSSI.
  • Haul road constructed for deliveries and mobilisation/siting of two of the UK’s largest cranes - 1200T & 800T
  • Existing historical foundations comprising timber and cast iron piled structures requiring detailed study to justify suitability for re-use
  • Bridge arrangement for 3 span continuous to 3 span simply supported spans
  • Method led reconstruction solution


  • ICE South East England 2010 multiple awards - Engineering Excellence Award, Majors Projects Winner and Community Award