Council unveils new A45 bridge - The Solihull Observer

Council unveils new A45 bridge

A BRAND new bridge which will improve accessibility at one of the UK’s most economically important locations has been officially opened by Solihull Council.

Located on the westbound A45 Coventry Road near M42 Junction 6 and Birmingham Airport, the bridge, which carries traffic over the electrified West Coast Main Railway Line, is used by around 30,000 vehicles every day.

The new bridge is double the width of its 160 year old predecessor and also provides a dedicated lane from the M42 to the Airport as well as a separate cycle lane and footway.

The project is one of the first steps in improving a nationally important strategic location, known as UK Central (UKC) and including the NEC, Resorts World, Jaguar Land Rover and Birmingham Airport.

The £12m project – funded by the Department for Transport, Transport for West Midlands and Birmingham Airport – was managed by SLC Rail on behalf of Solihull Council with Carillion as the lead contractor and Network Rail as a key partner.

Councillor Ted Richards OBE, Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways who officially opened the bridge on Wednesday said: “The importance of this project for the regional and strategic highway network really cannot be underestimated.

“The replacement of the A45 South Bridge removes a significant pinch point on one of the busiest roads in our borough and will ensure continuous accessibility to one of the UK’s most economically important locations.

“I would like to thank Carillion, SLC Rail and Solihull Council officers for their exceptional project management skills. Overcoming significant risks, this major project was delivered on time and without significant disruption to the high volume of road and rail users who pass through this area.

“In particular, I would like to highlight the successful demolition of the existing bridge within a tight 54-hour rail possession at Christmas 2015.

“The railway was returned to full use on time which required months of advance planning including assessing and mitigating the many associated risks.”

Work to replace the original bridge, which dated back to around 1837, started in January 2015.

As well as having weak parapets and substandard waterproofing and drainage, the narrowness of the bridge meant that it was no longer ideal for traffic in its existing form.

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