New £5.5m bridge to open on M56

A new £5.5 million bridge over the M56 near Manchester Airport is due to open to drivers next Wednesday (1 April 2015).

The new wider bridge on Thorley Lane, which links Davenport Green to the airport, is designed to help support 3,000 new jobs in the area by 2030 as well as lead to the development of over 5,500 new homes.

The Highways Agency closed a section of the motorway for an entire weekend last month while contractors (Balfour Beatty Mott MacDonald) lifted the 1,500 ton structure into place by junction 5 of the motorway.

They completed the installation eight hours ahead of schedule, with the motorway reopening at 9pm on Sunday 1 March. A time-lapse video showing the 90-metre-long bridge being lowered into place has now been released on YouTube showing the scale of the project.

 

Mark Mosley, project manager at the Highways Agency, said: “The link over the motorway between Davenport Green and the airport has been closed for nearly a year now so we’re delighted to be able to announce that the new bridge is ready to be opened.

“The bridge is the length of a football pitch and the weight of over 1,000 family cars so its been a significant project lifting it into place. There are no weight restrictions on the new structure and it’s much wider, so should help to support the development of the area around Manchester Airport.”

James Bennett, Balfour Beatty Mott MacDonald contract director, added: “The weekend lift demonstrated the strength of relationship across our teams and with our customer, the Highways Agency, and the importance of rigorous planning and both of these elements were key to the success of the weekend.”

The old bridge, just west of junction 5 of the motorway, had a weight restriction preventing its use by lorries, and closed last May ahead of its demolition.

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