Less traffic on the roads for the past few months has led to a bridge repair project on the M56 finishing almost four months early.
Extra space was created around the project to double the size of the construction area by Highways England closing one lane in each direction over the Helsby Viaduct when traffic levels on the motorway network fell by two-thirds on average.
This enabled installation of new safety barriers, improve drainage, waterproof and resurface the bridge could be carried out much more quickly than planned.
Highways England’s programme delivery manager in the North West Mangat Bansal said: “We’ve lifted the reduced speed limit over Helsby Viaduct after we completed major repairs in half the time. We’d originally planned to carry out the work using a contraflow system and temporary narrow lanes, which would have meant a reduced speed limit being in place until November.
“Instead, we kept two lanes open in each direction for drivers making essential journeys during the coronavirus lockdown and have been able to remove the roadworks four months ahead of schedule.”
A scheme to improve drainage on the section of the M56 near Manchester Airport (junctions 6 to 8) is also due to be completed next month, ahead of the main construction work starting this autumn on a major project to reduce congestion and increase the motorway’s capacity.
Other works on the M56 include the installation of a new central reservation barrier on the M56 near Warrington and resurfacing on the motorway surface near Ellesmere Port.