A viaduct in Northamptonshire has become the first on the HS2 project to have all its deck beams installed as work on the project continues to ramp up between London and the West Midlands.

The 163m long Highfurlong Brook Viaduct, near the village of Aston le Walls, is one of more than 50 major viaducts being built as part of the new rail project, which is designed to free up space on the most crowded part of the existing west coast mainline and boost economic growth.

Consisting of seven spans, the viaduct crosses the brook at a height of around 9m. Each span is made up of four beams weighing up to 56 tonnes, which were lifted into position over two months to form the backbone of the structure.

Each of the beams – which are up to 25m long – were manufactured off site before being delivered over night to reduce disruption for local road users. The deck – which will support the track and electrical systems – will be installed next year, as well as the parapets along either side.

The viaduct is one of 15 being built by HSRG members and main works contractor EKFB – a group made up of Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and Bam Nuttall. They will also deliver the earthworks that will support the railway at either end.

Highfurlong Brook is a tributary of the River Cherwell, which joins the Thames at Oxford. The viaduct crosses both the brook and its floodplain.