M56 to close as Metrolink bridge rolls into place

Posted: 19 November 2012 | Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) | No comments yet

“We have carried out a tremendous amount of planning to make sure this work can be done as quickly as possible…”

New Metrolink Bridge

Drivers are being reminded that part of the M56 will close this weekend while a second Metrolink bridge is installed over the motorway network.

There will be a full, 24-hour closure of the M56 between junctions 2 and 5 from 10pm on Saturday 24 November to 10pm on Sunday 25 November.

The bridge, which will carry trams on the Metrolink extension to Wythenshawe and Manchester Airport, is the second superstructure to be manoeuvred into place this month.

MPT, the contractors building the new Metrolink extension, successfully installed a bridge over the M60 at the beginning of November. Work was completed ahead of schedule and the motorway re-opened earlier than planned.

Philip Purdy, Transport for Greater Manchester’s Metrolink Director, said: “We have carried out a tremendous amount of planning to make sure this work can be done as quickly as possible, during a single closure of part of the M56.

“The work will be carried out largely overnight and has been planned, alongside the Highways Agency and local authorities, to avoid any major events.

“We were really pleased at how smoothly the first bridge installation went, finishing earlier than expected. Drivers can keep up-to-date on progress on Sunday by checking the Twitter feed on our website,”

The new ‘rail over road’ style bridges have been designed – without a central pier – so that they can be rolled into place in a single 24-hour window. This avoids the need for long-term temporary road works and lane closures.

The motorway lanes will start to be reduced and affected slip roads closed from 9pm on Saturday 24 November, before the full closure.

Strategic diversions for long distance through-traffic will use the rest of the motorway network and will be displayed on the roadside variable message signs. Shorter diversions for local traffic will also be in place on the local road network.

The bridge over the M56 is next to the existing Hollyhedge Road overbridge between junctions 3 and 4.

More information, including details of the local diversion route and a time-lapse video of the first bridge being installed, is available at

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