Highways England closed the M5 overnight on Saturday between Junction 13 and Junction 14 to enable the dismantling and removal of the well-used and well-worn motorway structure.
The footbridge spanning the southbound and northbound areas of the services had reached the end of its life and was closed to pedestrians in 2018.
A 70-strong team were involved in the cutting, dismantling and lifting of the bridge, with a 750-tonne crane positioned on the northbound carriageway to lift and lower the 69-tonne footbridge and two 130-foot cranes to manoeuvre the structure for cutting and removal.
The 60-metre bridge may no longer span the M5 but the metal and concrete, including the ramps and pillars, will now be recycled for future use.
Highways England took the opportunity to carry out other essential maintenance work during the overnight closure, and Project Manager Adrian Simon said:
It was a massive operation for our principal contractor Carnell, we understood the closure would have an effect on journey times and we appreciate people’s co-operation and patience during the work.
We carried out additional work between junctions 13 and 14 to minimise disruption, the removal operation was carried out safely and discussions are ongoing regarding building a replacement footbridge.
As is the case with a lot of our replacement and renewal schemes, another positive will see the materials recycled and put to good use elsewhere.
The scheme experienced some delays, including computer issues with one of the 130-tonne cranes, unseen issues detaching the main span from the piers and additional cutting of the bridge deck.
Mr Simon added:
Due to the complex nature of the operation, we did reopen the M5 a little later than scheduled, and again, we’d like to thank drivers using the diversion routes for their patience.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.
- January 31, 2020 at 11:13 am by Editor (displayed above)
- January 31, 2020 at 11:13 am by Editor