Highways England is closing the M6 motorway between junction 14 and junction 15 this weekend – to remove a massive 150-tonne section of bridge in one piece.
The closure will run for 24 hours from 8pm on Saturday 22 September, which will be inconvenient for some. However, Highways England bosses say it’s actually doing motorists a favour.
By taking the bridge away in one piece, it’s able to complete the time-consuming dismantling process away from the motorway, minimising closures and delays for motorists.
It’s not going to be easy, though. Constructors have booked a massive 90-foot specialist transporter to ship the bridge to a nearby compound.
The bridge will be lifted clear and loaded onto the trailer.
In total, the Cresswell Home Farm bridge, which is located just north of Stafford, is 250 feet long and weighs a total of 800 tonnes. It contains enough concrete to fill 40 tipper trucks.
“Demolishing the bridge is a big and complex job, and to do it safely, both carriageways of the motorway are needed,” said Highways England’s Peter Smith.
The M6 will be closed for up to 24 hours… but we’re doing all we can to minimise disruption.
“That is why we are arranging to take the centre section away in one piece, rather than breaking it up, which would take more time.”
Smith added the old bridge will be fully recycled and used in the construction of the upgraded motorway.
It’s being removed because it’s no longer in use – and it’s too narrow to take the extra running lane the motorway upgrade will bring.
Motorists are warned to expect delays in the area and use alternative routes if possible – these will be signalled as far away as Dover and Carlisle on motorway matrix signs.
Those who can’t avoid the junction will be diverted off the M6 between junction 14 and 15, and sent to use the A34 Stone Road instead. Expect delays, adds Highways England…