4th November 2022

A533 Expressway bridge reaches key milestone

A major scheme to replace the A533 Expressway bridge has reached a key milestone after the new bridge was lifted into position.

The 67m steel structure was built off-site at a compound close to the side of the M56 and was moved into place over the weekend.

Using a self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT), the bridge was slowly transported down the embankment, along the carriageway of the motorway and into position.

The M56 between junctions 11 and 12 was closed over the weekend to allow for the work to be carried out.

Installing a bridge of this size in a single weekend was hugely ambitious. Our team worked around the clock to make sure it was a success, and I’m pleased to say the motorway was reopened for traffic ahead of schedule, late on Sunday night. I’d like to thank everyone who planned ahead for their journeys over the weekend. Reduced traffic volumes on the M56 meant delays were significantly lower than forecast.

Stewart Jones National Highways' Regional Delivery Director

The existing A533 Expressway bridge was also closed while the bridge was installed.

A533 Expressway bridge aerialChris Buckley, AmeySRM Project Manager, said: “It was an absolute priority for us to minimise disruption to the local community over the weekend. Our team ensured a safe crossing point for any pedestrians or cyclists who were passing through.

“We’re extremely grateful for local support over the last 10 months. To celebrate this important milestone, we teamed up with Sir Robert McAlpine’s Strong Foundations Grant to donate £25,000 to charities and community groups. We were honoured to have some of these join us at our recent ‘topping out’ ceremony.”

Phoenix Community Archery Club in Runcorn was awarded £3,000 to build a new platform providing all-weather access for wheelchair users.

First Knutsford Scout Group also received £3,000 to help build their new scout hut and Huyton Asphalt received £3,000 on behalf of the Bobby Colleran Trust.

National Highways made use of the weekend closures to also carry out additional work – reducing the need for more closures in the future.

As well as removing narrow lanes from the M56, they also installed three new manholes and a 4m deep drain. They also carried out structural surveys, installed infrastructure for new power and phone cables, and completed general maintenance work.

The next project milestone will be removing the old bridge which is expected to happen spring 2023.

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