New bridge over M6 to move a step closer this month
Highways England’s congestion-busting new bridge over the M6 in Cheshire will be a step closer by the middle of this month with the completion of a key phase of the construction work.
The £43 million bridge is being built through the roundabout at junction 19 of the motorway at Knutsford.
And after January’s huge operation to lift dozens of huge steel bridge beams into place, the project team is now ready to pour the concrete foundations for the bridge deck.
The major work means there will be no access to or from the A556 from junction 19 of the motorway between Friday night and Sunday morning during the first two weekends after Easter – from Friday, April 9 and Friday, April 16. Motorway drivers will be kept on the move at all times with a two-lane ‘up and over’ diversion using the junction roundabout during the day on Saturday 10 and Saturday 17 April.
Highways England project manager Khalid El-Rayes said: “This is an exciting phase of the project when we’ll be laying the foundations for the carriageway over the bridge beams we installed back in January.
“We’ve worked hard to minimise disruption to people’s journeys. The motorway will be closed at junction 19 on the two Saturdays during the day but we’re installing a short diversion via the roundabout allowing drivers to leave and immediately re-join the motorway using the exit and entry slip roads.”
Huge bridge beams which will carry the concrete deck were craned into place during two weekend motorway closures in January
This month’s work will be taking place from 8pm on Friday, April 9, until 6am on Sunday, April 11, and between 8pm on Friday, April 16, and 6am on Sunday, April 18.
There will be overnight lane closures on the M6 as well as the 6am to 8pm Saturday daytime closures of the motorway under the new bridge beams with the two lane ‘up and over’ diversion in place.
There will be no access to the A556 Knutsford to Bowdon bypass from junction 7 of the M56 during the Friday to Sunday working periods.
The ‘up and over’ diversion at junction 19 worked well when it was used during January’s weekend closures. However, with traffic volumes likely to increase as pandemic travel restrictions are eased, Highways England is advising drivers to avoid this section of the M6 during the closures or to check traffic conditions before setting out on journeys.
Once completed, the bridge will carry two lanes in each direction over the motorway. The concrete foundations will need to cover the bridge’s surface of 75 square metres to a depth of 25 centimetres.
During this month’s weekend working dozens of construction workers will be onsite pouring 1,000 cubic metres of concrete – enough to fill 1,500 hot tubs or a million standard orange juice cartons. Concrete for the deck will be poured at both ends with deliveries relayed from plants on either side of the motorway.
It is likely that other Highways England teams will make use of the closures to carry out drainage repairs and resurfacing in the area
The new bridge will improve traffic flow between the motorway and the A556 and reduce congestion at other parts of the junction. It is expected to be completed this summer.
More information on the project is available at https://highwaysengland.co.uk/our-work/north-west/m6-junction-19/