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M6 stretch to shut for 18 hours both ways as bridge is dismantled

By Jordan Reynolds | Stafford | Transport | Published: | Last Updated:

A stretch of the M6 will be closed in both directions for 18 hours next month while a 140-ton bridge is dismantled.

Burton Bank Footbridge. Photo: Highways England

Drivers will face diversions while the work takes place between junctions 13 and 14 near Stafford to remove the Burton Bank Footbridge.

Highways England will carry out the work over the weekend of March 23 and 24.

Due to the curved shape of the footbridge, which was built in the early 1960s, there is not enough headroom for HGVs to travel along the new lane that will be replacing the hard shoulder.

Interactive map of the diversion:

The bridge is too low for the required safety clearance when the hard shoulder becomes a new running lane.

The footbridge is nearly 200ft in length and weighs around 140 tons. In total it contains enough concrete to fill around 20 tipper trucks.

It is the second bridge to be removed as part of work to upgrade the motorway between Junction 13 for Stafford and Junction 15 for Stoke-on-Trent after Creswell Home Farm bridge, just north of Junction 14, was demolished last year.

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The motorway closure will start on March 23 with significant lane restrictions from 5pm, leading into a full closure by 8pm. Drivers are warned to expect delays from 5pm. The motorway will reopen on March 24 as soon as work allows.

Extra travel time

Highways England smart motorways project sponsor, Peter Smith, said: “Demolishing an arched bridge is a very complex job and to do it safely we need to use both carriageways of the motorway, which means it will be closed for up to 18 hours.

"We’ll be doing all we can to minimise disruption in Stafford and the surrounding area and I’d like to thank motorists, businesses and residents in advance for their patience.

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"I’d also urge anyone wanting to use the M6 in that area on March 23 and 24 to plan an alternative route to avoid congestion in the area. Please also allow extra travel time and fuel for your journey.”

While the work takes place, traffic will be diverted off the M6 between Junctions 13 and 14 and will use the A449 and A34 as the diversion route. This route has been agreed with local authority partners and will be kept clear of other works during the demolition.

Drivers have been warned to expect delays and urged to avoid the area if possible, allowing lots of extra time for essential journeys.

To reduce M6 traffic on the day, signs will alert motorists to the closure as far away as Dover and Carlisle. Motorists and hauliers travelling between the North West and the Midlands and South of England will be urged to avoid the area by using the M62 and M1.

Work began last year and the project is due to be completed by March 2022.

More information is available by visiting https://highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/m6-junction-13-to-junction-15-smart-motorway/

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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