WATCH: Bridge across M42 near Birmingham Airport demolished - The Solihull Observer

WATCH: Bridge across M42 near Birmingham Airport demolished

Solihull Editorial 12th Feb, 2024   0

THE M42 reopened three and a half hours ahead of schedule, following the demolition of a damaged bridge.

The 4,000 tonne bridge between junctions seven for the M6 junction four, and junction six for the NEC and Birmingham Airport, was removed by 20 demolition experts from Solihull-based firm Armac, working on behalf of HS2’s main works contractor in the Midlands, Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV) in a 52 hour operation.

The bridge was due to be taken down next year as part of HS2 plans but plans were moved forward after it was struck twice in one week by lorries using the motorway last month.

Since then, there have been lane restrictions in place to prevent the bridge being hit again resulting in traffic congestion.

The demolition process got under way at 9pm on February 9 and the M42 reopened at 1.30am on Monday (February 12).

National Highways senior network planner, Frank Bird, said: “This has been a challenging task as normally a demolition such as this would be planned over many months. Instead, everyone involved was able to mobilise resources to get it down in a matter of weeks. It has been a terrific collaborative effort with HS2 Ltd and all others involved and one I am sure road users will appreciate with all lanes now open.”

This is the second of two 4,000 tonne bridges in close proximity over the M42 which needed to be demolished so HS2 can build a new twin box structure, which will carry the high speed line over the motorway in the future.

The first bridge was demolished last August.

Oliver Shore, Construction Director at Balfour Beatty VINCI said: “This was a complex operation, made even more challenging because of the limited time we had to plan and deliver this critical work. I’m really proud of how the team responded, showcasing their skill and experience in these demanding circumstances.

“It’s the second bridge removal we’ve delivered along the same stretch of motorway in just six months. Like the previous demolition last summer, every effort was made to minimise the impact on road users through careful planning and close collaboration between HS2 and National Highways.”

This year, BBV will start to construct the twin box structure, which will carry HS2 trains over the M42 between Interchange Station in Solihull and the Delta Junction, a triangular section of the line which enables trains to either travel into Birmingham’s Curzon Street Station or carry on north where trains will join the West Coast Main Line to Manchester.

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