A6 relief road bridge Stockport

Hazel Grove 2,000-tonne bridge installed

A joint venture between Carillion and Morgan Sindall has completed the installation of a 2,000-tonne rail bridge on the Hazel Grove to Buxton railway line, as part of work on the £290m A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road.

Carrying the railway line over the new road, according to Stockport Council the bridge is one of the longest single span plate girder bridges of its type in the country. Constructed using weathering steel to reduce future maintenance costs for the main beams and reinforced concrete for the deck, the bridge has been assembled on site over recent months alongside the A6, Hazel Grove.

Contractors had to remove around 20,000 tonnes of earth before sliding the bridge into place. Rail tracks were then re-laid over the new bridge.

The A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road is a 10km of dual carriageway being constructed to improve access across south east Manchester and east Cheshire.

One of 12 bridges planned along the relief road, the Hazel Grove to Buxton rail bridge is the largest single structure of the entire project. As well as allowing the new dual carriageway and a dedicated cycle/footpath to pass under the rail line, the bridge has been designed to provide access points for farm vehicles allowing them to access neighbouring fields.

The £290m road is a joint venture between Stockport Council, Manchester City Council and Cheshire East Council with contractors Carillion and Morgan Sindall. The project remains on schedule to open in autumn 2017.

Eamonn Boylan, chief executive of Stockport Council, said: “I would like to congratulate the project team on the successful bridge slide this weekend, undertaking a task of this scale is no small feat and its success is down to their meticulous planning and attention to detail. Work on constructing the much needed A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road can now press ahead, bringing with it improvements to our local road network and new jobs and opportunities for all.”

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