TRAFFIC has now been temporarily diverted onto the first section of a newly constructed bridge on the A45 – marking a major milestone in Solihull Council’s project to replace the A45 South Bridge near Birmingham Airport.
The £12m project, which began in January 2015, will soon see the demolition of the existing road-over-rail bridge on the westbound A45 between the M42 Junction 6 and Birmingham Airport roundabouts.
The bridge dates back to 1837 and is considered to be life expired, having weak parapets and sub-standard waterproofing. It is crossed by some 30,000 vehicles a day on average.
The Council appointed Carillion Construction to demolish the old structure which has 3 narrow traffic lanes and deliver a new bridge which will accommodate four lanes of traffic; thereby contributing to reduced congestion in one of the busiest areas of the Midlands.
Work to date has focussed on the construction of what is essentially the first half of the new bridge with the placement of piles, construction of abutments, installation of support beams and finally concreting of the bridge deck. This took place carefully alongside the existing bridge which remained open to ensure a free flow of traffic.
This temporary alignment of the westbound A45, with traffic diverted onto the wider lanes of the new bridge, will remain in place until the remaining part of the bridge is complete in August 2016. Preparations are now being made for the demolition of the old bridge during a possession of the
West Coast Mainline on Christmas Day. From January 2016 work will begin to construct the remaining section of the new bridge.
Coun Ted Richards, Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways, said: “The strategically important economic assets served directly by the bridge are estimated to generate in excess of £2.5bn of GDP, supporting over 80,000 jobs. So it’s a credit to everyone involved that throughout this major project we will be able to keep traffic flowing on this part of the road network.”
To find out more about the A45 Bridge Project, as well as be informed of any associated lane closures, visit www.solihull.gov.uk/a45bridge.