The Metrolink Manchester Airport tram extension will cross over both the M60 and the M56 motorways on dedicated new bridges, construction of which has been on going. The bridge abutments are close to completion and the bridges themselves have been assembled in the areas to the sides of the motorways. To complete the installation work the bridges will be moved into position using a remote control vehicle and then lifted into place.
The first bridge was successfully moved into place across the M60 during the weekend of the 3 / 4 November. The work, which was planned to take place during a 24hour closure (10pm to 10pm) was finished a full eight hours early, meaning that drivers were back on the road by 2pm Sunday 4 November. Click here for a full media release and see below for footage of the works that took place.
The second and last, full overnight closure will take place on the M56 between Junctions 5 and 2 from 10pm on Saturday 24 to 10pm Sunday 25 November 2012. However, the motorway may be re-opened earlier if it is considered safe and practical to do so. The closure will start to be introduced at 9pm, with lane closures in advance of each approaching junction, and closures of the entry slip roads, ahead of the motorway closing in full in each direction from 10pm.
Strategic diversions for long distance, through-traffic will use the rest of the motorway network. The alternative motorway routes will be displayed on the roadside variable message signs.
Shorter diversions for local traffic will also be in place on the local road network. Maps of the local diversion routes are available below. The local diversions will be signposted. Advance advisory signs will be erected on both motorways, and the variable message signs will display early notification of each weekend closure two weeks in advance.
Click here for the M56 local diversion route
Works that will take place
In advance of the weekend closures our contractor MPT will undertake some enabling works within the central reserves of the M56 and M60 to prepare for the bridge installations.These works will take place during overnight lane closures between 10pm and 5am to minimise the disruption to traffic. During the overnight motorway closure the bridge deck will be moved into place by a vehicle similar to those pictured below. Once the bridge is in place it will be permanently secured to the abutments and the motorway will be inspected and confirmed suitable for re-opening to traffic.
Click on the images above to view larger
Bridge installation video
Manchester Airport: New bridge superstructure installation over M60 Motorway - November 3rd & 4th 2012