Nuneham Rail Viaduct near Abingdon, Oxfordshire, was shut blocking the well-used River Thames crossing and closing a main rail line, following the discovery of instability due to changes in the supporting ground. Once new abutments were built the temporary piles installed to support the viaduct during the re-build needed to be cut off 1m below the water level. This required some excavation around the piles to allow divers to carry out these operations. Constraints of low head room and low water levels toward the banks meant an innovative solution was required outside the conventional barge and long reach option. WM Plant Hire’s Spider excavator provided the perfect solution able to work in the water to complete excavations and work on a pontoon lowering its height and using its telescopic boom to overcome the low head room and lift the piles out of the water.