Work to improve the safety of four bridges on the M5 is being carried out by the Highways Agency.
The Agency has started a comprehensive package of bridge safety improvements and maintenance to benefit road users.
The work, which will continue until March 2015, will take place between junctions 10 and 12 and includes a deck replacement, resurfacing and waterproofing on one bridge and strengthening work on the foundations of three other bridges.
The first phase of the programme begins at Gloucester Painswick Bridge between junctions 11a and 12, where a contraflow arrangement will be in place until the end of March with two lanes northbound and southbound in operation.
A 50mph speed limit will also be in place past the roadworks.
Highways Agency service delivery team leader Dave Sledge said: “The work is essential to prolong the life of the bridges. It is a very full programme, but it has been planned carefully so that we can undertake a number of schemes at the same time, which will significantly reduce the overall disruption.”
Gloucester Painswick bridge, which is 40 years old, has suffered with drainage problems over recent years and this has led to the concrete in the deck becoming saturated. This in turn has resulted in deterioration of the concrete deck of the bridge which now needs to be replaced.
Emergency repairs were carried out in 2010 and since then a scheme to replace the deck has been developed.
From February onwards work also begins on the following bridges:
* Stroud Road Brookthorpe Bridge between junctions 11a and 12
* Staverton Hayden Bridge between junction 10 and 11
* Piffs Elm Bridge at junction 10
The foundations of all these bridges have been attacked by thaumasite, which is a severe form of sulphate attack and can reduce affected concrete to a soft crumbly material. A number of bridges in the Gloucester area are known to suffer from this and the Highways Agency is managing the repair of these over a number of years.
The work on these three bridges include exposing the foundations and repairing the areas affected by thaumasite. To keep the bridges safe during the work, extra support will be installed to the bridge decks.