Two new bridges will be installed over two motorways in Greater Manchester during November as part of construction of the new Metrolink line to Manchester Airport.
The 580-tonne steel and concrete bridges over the M60 and M56 will be manoeuvred into place over two weekends in November. As a result there will be a full, overnight closure of the M60 between Junctions 5 and 8 from 10pm on Saturday 3 to 10pm on Sunday 4 November and a full, overnight closure of the M56 between Junctions 2 and 5 from 10pm on Saturday 24 to 10pm on Sunday 25 November.
Each closure will start to be introduced at 9pm, with lane closures in advance of each approaching junction, ahead of the motorway closing in full in each direction from 10pm.
The bridge over the M60 is south of the existing Fairy Lane overbridge between junctions 5 and 6. The bridge over the M56 is next to the existing Hollyhedge Road overbridge between junctions 3 and 4.
Bryan Diggins, contractor M-Pact Thales' project director, said: "These are major and complex engineering undertakings, and have been the subject of rigorous planning for many months by the Laing O'Rourke and Volker Rail teams.
"The road closures will give us a window through which to manoeuvre the 580-tonne bridges into position, where they will form the backbone of the Metrolink extension to Manchester Airport."
The superstructures are being built next to the bridge sites and will be driven into place, from approximately 70 metres away, using two self-propelled modular transporters. Each of these transporters has eight axles, and each axle has eight tyres – which amounts to 128 tyres in total across both vehicles.
The bridge forms comprise single span steel through-deck structures founded on traditional reinforced concrete abutments.