Express & Star

Motorway shut in both directions for bridge demolition this weekend

Families heading away from half-term are being reminded that the M42 is closed this weekend in both directions between three junctions.

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The M42 will be closed over the weekend as the work to demolish the bridge takes place. Photo: National Highways West Midlands

It is shut for bridge demolition works.

The closure will be in place until 5am on Monday.

A diversion route is in place via the A45 and A446.

The work to demolish the motorway bridge is under way due to it being struck more than 20 times in 10 years.

Road users have been reminded to allow extra time for their journeys over the weekend while the bridge is demolished over the M42 near Birmingham, with work starting on Friday evening.

The structure between junction 7 for M6 junction 4 and junction 6 for Birmingham Airport was struck twice in one week by lorries using the motorway in late January, causing significant damage.

Since then, the southbound carriageway has been reduced to two lanes for safety reasons and, weather permitting, the bridge will come down, with the M42 closed from 9pm on Friday, February 9 to 5am on Monday, February 12.

National Highways Asset Needs Manager Greg Fernee said: “To remove the bridge in a safe and controlled manner, we need to close the road for a full weekend.

The work has begun to demolish the bridge of the M42. Photo: National Highways West Midlands

"People will need to plan their journeys carefully, by checking diversion routes and allowing extra time particularly if they have a flight to catch from Birmingham Airport or are attending an event at the NEC.

“We are grateful for the patience of road users since the bridge was first hit at the start of the year and over the last week while we’ve been carrying out preparation work for this weekend’s operation.”

The bridge, which has been hit some 20 times in the last 10 years, was already earmarked for destruction, however, due to the the recent incidents, the demolition has been moved forward to this weekend.

The southbound carriageway will be closed from junction 9 to junction 6, together with the link arm from M6 south to M42 south and the M6 north to M42 south arm, while the northbound carriageway will be closed from junction 6 to 7 including the link to the M6. There will be no impact on the M6 toll.

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