School pupils take part in poster competition ahead of new bridge installation


20 Oct 2022

School pupils take part in poster competition ahead of new bridge installation

Schoolchildren in Cheshire went head-to-head in an art competition as they designed posters celebrating the imminent installation of the new Expressway bridge.

We will be closing the M56 in Runcorn to install a new 67m bridge across the motorway.

The large steel structure, which will replace the existing A533 Expressway bridge, has been constructed off-site nearby and is now ready to be lifted into position.

To help celebrate this key milestone, the project teamed up with Aston by Sutton Primary School to run a poster colouring competition with pupils.

Sam Whitfield, National Highways project manager, said: “We have lots of technical drawings that show how the bridge will look, but nothing beats seeing a structure like this through the eyes of children. Their amazing drawings have created a real buzz among the team as we prepare for this exciting next step.

"The images will also help us get the message out about the closures, so people can plan ahead.”

The bridge installation will require a full weekend closure of the M56 in both directions between junction 11 and 12. Other project work will also be undertaken to reduce the need for additional future closures.

The A533 Expressway bridge will also be closed in both directions. Long delays are expected and motorists are being advised to avoid the area or allow extra time.

The six winning artists, aged five to 11 years, were invited along to the project’s Topping Out ceremony as special guests earlier this month. The ceremony is an ancient ritual used to celebrate the completion of a new structure and took place on Tuesday 11 October.

Chris Buckley, AmeySRM project manager, said: “Building the bridge on the side of the motorway is extremely innovative and has massively reduced the impact on road users during its construction over the last 10 months.

“It’s been great to share this major project milestone with local schoolchildren and their families.

“Hopefully we’ve helped to inspire the next generation of bridge designers, builders and engineers.”

Anna Plant, Headteacher at Aston by Sutton Primary School said: “It’s been very exciting for the school to get involved with such a significant construction project. The bridge helps keep our community connected and when the children use it in years to come, they’ll know they were part of its history.”

Motorists are being asked to use official diversion routes, which are available to view on the scheme webpage.