After carrying traffic over the M6 for some 50 years, the old bridge which spanned the motorway at junction 10 disappeared in under 48 hours.
Work finished in the early hours of this morning – more than four hours ahead of schedule – to remove the bridge which is being replaced by a more modern and wider, four-lane structure to tackle congestion at the busy junction.
National Highways Project Manager Annie Hyett said:
Demolishing a bridge of this size is a complex operation but everything went exactly to plan and we were delighted that we were able to get the motorway open several hours earlier than planned.
A big thank-you to everyone who was able to avoid the area where possible as it helped us reduce the queues of traffic and delays to journeys. We appreciate that closing the motorway does cause some inconvenience and only do so when we absolutely necessary to protect our workforce and road users.
Road users will soon be able to enjoy the full benefits of the improvements to the junction which will help combat the traffic hold-ups endured at this bottleneck for many years.
Junction 10 was closed from Friday night until 1.30am today (Monday) to enable the south bridge to be removed. A fleet of machines swept on to the site to ‘nibble’ away the bridge before the road was cleared and then reopened to traffic.
There was an ‘up and over’ diversion for traffic which left the motorway at junction 10, travelled over the roundabout and then re-joined the M6 on the other side.
The existing north bridge is due to be demolished within a few weeks.
The two new bridges were built alongside the existing ones and will double the number of traffic lanes around the junction from two to four.
National Highways and Walsall Council, supported by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership, have joined forces to fund the £78 million upgrade of the junction. Contractor John Sisk & Son is carrying out the work.