The Highways Agency has released a time-lapse video showing how a 1,500-tonne bridge was lifted into place over the M56 near Hale Barns last month.
The new £5.5m, 90-metre bridge on Thorley Lane, which was constructed beside the motorway, is set to open to traffic next Wednesday, April 1.
It was lifted into place over the weekend of February 28th and March 1st, forcing the M56’s closure near Hale. The installation was completed eight hours ahead of schedule.
The old bridge was demolished in May last year as it could not cope with heavy lorries, and will connect Davenport Green, where 5,500 homes are to be built, and the airport.
The video shows how workers from the Highways Agency pulled off the incredible job of manoeuvring the enormous structure into place.
See how they did it:
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 it’s 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.
Below: The finished bridge in place
“We’d like to thank drivers and local residents for their patience while the work has been taking place, and for using alternative routes when the motorway and Thorley Lane was closed. The new bridge will benefit local businesses, and should help to boost both the local and regional economy.”
The four-month bridge project is one of 121 in the Government’s two-year £300m improvement works, designed to stimulate economic growth, improve road safety and improve congestion bottlenecks.
It is designed to help stimulate new development and local economic growth by improving road safety and tackling congestion bottlenecks. In all, 30 projects worth £66m are taking place across the North West.