A major refurbishment of a bridge spanning the M5 between Cheltenham and Gloucester has been completed a month ahead of schedule.
As part of a sequence of safety schemes to repair a number of M5 bridges in Gloucestershire, National Highways and principal contractors MJ Church have removed the scaffolding, waterproofed and resurfaced the Bamfurlong Lane Bridge between junctions 10 and 11, ahead of reopening it for traffic and pedestrians.
The £4.6 million scheme started in November 2022 and since the start of work the bridge has been closed 24/7 to motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.
The complex refurbishment involved concrete repairs to the bridge decks, replacement of bridge bearings, removal and reconstruction of parapet beams and safety fencing, waterproofing and resurfacing, together with extensive inspection of the post tensioning cables.
The work was scheduled to be completed in mid-December but despite the weather challenges of this year, the bridge work has progressed well and will now be reopened to traffic this evening.
Further along the M5, National Highways has also been refurbishing the Roman Villa and Pitmill bridges at junction 11A.
The exit slip road at the Brockworth interchange has been closed since early September to enable structural and concrete repairs, expansion joint replacement, waterproofing and resurfacing.
The refurbishment work is on schedule and following further work on the bridge deck and the installation of waterproofing, kerbs and verges, the slip road is scheduled to be reopened to traffic ahead of the Christmas holidays.
The Bamfurlong bridge and junction 11A repairs follow a sequence of work to restore the 50-year-old structures around Cheltenham and Gloucester, including the bridges supporting the Golden Valley gyratory at junction 11 and the Brookfield Road and Staverton bridges.
Heather Lang, National Highways’ South West Head of Scheme Delivery, said: “We need to be especially diligent in any work involving our structures, the work is particularly complex, and we’ve carried out a lot of work on the bridges in this area over the last three years.
“A lot of our structures in the South West are now over 50 years old and we have an ongoing programme to fully renew our bridges.
“I’m proud of the collaborative effort between our team and our supply partners to enable us to complete the scheme safely and ahead of schedule. We have worked in partnership for some time on these types of complex refurbishments and the team take pride in doing the best job they can.
“We appreciate roadworks and closures can be frustrating but we’ve made every effort to ensure the impact on the local community has been kept to an absolute minimum, and we’d like to thank motorists for their patience while this vital improvement scheme was carried out.”