Bridge demolition completed ahead of schedule

The M42 near Birmingham has needed to be closed for less time than expected during the demolition of a damaged bridge.

The structure between junctions 7 (M6 J4) and 6 (Birmingham NEC and Birmingham Airport) was removed by contractors in a 52 hour operation after being struck twice in one week by lorries using the motorway in mid-January, causing significant damage.

The road was reopened three and a half hours sooner than expected.

The bridge was due to be taken down next year as part of HS2 plans so National Highways worked with the company and its contractors to bring the demolition forward.

The demolition process got under way at 9pm on Friday, 9 February and the M42 reopened at 1.30am this morning (12 February).

National Highways Senior Network Planner Frank Bird said: “We are delighted to have been able to reopen the motorway for the benefit of road users some three and a half hours earlier than planned and thank people for their ongoing patience since the bridge was hit last month.

“Our engineers investigated whether a repair was possible but as the bridge was due to be removed as part of HS2’s works in the area next year anyway, a decision was taken to bring that forward so we could eliminate the possibility of any further bridge strikes and get all lanes under the structure reopened as soon as possible.

“This has been a challenging task as normally a demolition such as this would be planned over many months. Instead, everyone involved was able to mobilise resources to get it down in a matter of weeks. It has been a terrific collaborative effort with HS2 Ltd and all others involved and one I am sure road users will appreciate with all lanes now open.”

(Picture – National Highways)

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