25th October 2022

A533 Expressway bridge celebrates topping out

Local school children helped spread the message about the new A533 Expressway bridge as the project team celebrated its topping out.

School children attend the A533 bridge topping outAt the end of the month, National Highways will be closing the M56 in Runcorn to install a new 67m bridge across the motorway. The large steel structure, which will replace the existing A533 Expressway bridge, has been constructed on a platform to the side of the motorway and is now ready to be lifted into position.

To help celebrate this key milestone, the project teamed up with Aston by Sutton Primary School to run a poster colouring competition with pupils.


We have lots of technical drawings that show how the bridge will look, but nothing beats seeing a structure like this through the eyes of children. Their amazing drawings have created a real buzz amongst the team as we prepare for this exciting next step. The images will also help us get the message out about the closures, so people can plan ahead.

Sam Whitfield National Highways Project Manager

A533 bridge children drawingsThe installation will require a full weekend closure of the M56 in both directions between junction 11 and 12. The A533 Expressway bridge will also be closed in both directions. Long delays are expected and motorists are being advised to avoid the area or allow extra time.

The six winning artists, aged 5 to 11 years, were invited along to the project’s Topping Out ceremony as special guests earlier this month. The ceremony, which is an ancient ritual to mark the completion of a new structure, typically sees a branch placed at the highest point to release displaced spirits during construction.

Chris Buckley, Project Manager for AmeySRM, said: “Building the bridge on the side of the motorway is extremely innovative and has massively reduced the impact on road users during its construction over the last 10 months. It’s been great to share this major project milestone with local school children and their families. Hopefully we’ve helped to inspire the next generation of bridge designers, builders and engineers!”

Headmistress Anna Plant added: “It’s been very exciting for the school to get involved with such a significant construction project. The bridge helps keep our community connected and when the children use it in years to come, they’ll know they were part of its history.”

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