THE M67 motorway, which runs through Tameside, will close again later this year, even though bridge work done during a recent shutdown was hailed a success.
The eastern side of the St Anne’s Road bridge, in Denton, was demolished as the carriageway was shut from the evening of Friday, August 18 until the morning of Monday, August 21.
And even though they were delighted with the progress they had made, National Highways say it will be off limits to traffic in the near future as beams to carry a watermain and other utility diversions are installed.
They said: “Our demolition work on the bridge continues through August and September.
“To safely complete that work, the M67 is now reduced to narrow lanes between junctions 1 and 2 eastbound, and between Junctions 3 and 1A westbound. A reduced speed limit of 50mph is also in effect and free vehicle recovery in operation.
“In autumn, after the supporting walls have been modified to carry the new bridge, we will install two beams over the motorway to house a water main and temporary diversions for other utility services such as gas, telecoms and electric.
“Following the beams’ installation, utility providers will return to make the connections required to divert their services.
“To safely install the two beams, additional carriageway closures on the M67 between junctions 1A and 3 will be required later this year.”
The entire project, set to last three years, will see the bridge replaced, meaning motorists will not be able to access the junction, as well as local diversions.
But National Highways insists it had to be done, adding: “Not taking action to repair the bridge risks the safety of road users in the future.
“We believe the best solution is to replace the bridge completely. This is quicker, safer, and more practical than repairing it.
“By fully closing the M67 motorway underneath the bridge, our staff were able to safely manoeuvre large cranes and drilling equipment around the structure and remove the demolished sections of the bridge and debris from site.”