A533 Expressway bridge replacement

We’re replacing the existing bridge that carries the A533 Chester Road over the M56.

Start date January 2022
End date Summer 2023
Cost £23 million

Latest updates

  • 22 July 2022

    Full overnight closures in August and September

    We need to close the M56 motorway overnight between junctions 11 and 12, on a number of dates in August and September.

    This is so we can pour concrete for the central pier. The central pier will support the new bridge when it is lifted into position later this year.

    The motorway will only be closed in one direction. Diversion routes for both the eastbound and westbound closures are available to view below.

    Cancelled - Monday 8 to Friday 12 August, M56 eastbound

    The planned closures this week have been rescheduled. They will now take place the week commencing Monday 22 August.

    Monday 15 to Friday 19 August, M56 eastbound

    M56 junction 12 to 11 eastbound will be closed overnight, between 9pm and 6am for five nights from Monday 15 August to Friday 19 August 2022. The westbound carriageway will be open as normal. View eastbound diversion route below.

    Please note, the M56 junction 6 to 8 motorway upgrade scheme will have overnight closures on the westbound carriageway, between junction 5 and 8 at the same time.

    New - Monday 22 August to Wednesday 24 August, M56 eastbound

    M56 junction 12 to 11 eastbound will be closed overnight, between 9pm and 6am for three nights from Monday 22 August to Wednesday 24 August.

    The westbound carriageway will be open as normal. View eastbound diversion route below.  

    Monday 5 September and Tuesday 6 September, M56 eastbound

    M56 junction 12 to 11 eastbound will be closed overnight, between 9pm and 6am on Monday 5 September and Tuesday 6 September 2022. The westbound carriageway will be open as normal. View eastbound diversion route below.

    Wednesday 7 September and Thursday 8 September, M56 westbound

    M56 junction 11 to 12 westbound will be closed overnight, between 9pm and 6am on Wednesday 7 September and Thursday 8 September 2022. The eastbound carriageway will be open as normal. View westbound diversion route below. 

    Monday 26 September and Tuesday 27 September, M56 westbound

    M56 junction 11 to 12 westbound will be closed overnight, between 9pm and 6am on Monday 26 September and Tuesday 27 September 2022. The eastbound carriageway will be open as normal. View westbound diversion route below. 

    Wednesday 28 September and Thursday 29 September, M56 eastbound

    M56 junction 12 to 11 eastbound will be closed overnight, between 9pm and 6am on Wednesday 28 September and Thursday 29 September 2022. The westbound carriageway will be open as normal. View eastbound diversion route below.

    New video shows beams arriving to site

    This short video shows the new bridge beams arriving at our site compound. Each beam weighs the equivalent of 45 elephants.

    Delivery of the beams marks a key milestone for the project. Construction of the new bridge will continue at the compound. This means we can keep the existing bridge open to minimise disruption to drivers.

    The new bridge is expected to open for traffic in summer 2023.

  • 24 June 2022

    Two weeks of overnight closures in July

    A533 Expressway bridge

    We’re planning some important works on the A533 Expressway bridge.

    We need to close the bridge overnight in both directions for two weeks from Monday 4 July. The closures will be in place from 7pm to 6am, Monday to Friday only. The bridge will be open as usual on Saturday and Sunday nights.

    The closures will allow us to carry out a variety of work. This includes planning for new drainage and building new kerb lines. Other teams will also be using the closures to complete important structural surveys on the bridge, reducing disruption to our customers.

    The A533 Expressway bridge will be closed on the following:  

    Week one

    • Monday 4 July, 7pm-6am
    • Tuesday 5 July, 7pm-6am
    • Wednesday 6 July, 7pm-6am
    • Thursday 7 July, 7pm-6am
    • Friday 8 July, 7pm-6am

    Week two

    • Monday 11 July, 7pm-6am
    • Tuesday 12 July, 7pm-6am
    • Wednesday 13 July, 7pm-6am
    • Thursday 14 July, 7pm-6am
    • Friday 15 July, 7pm-6am

    Clearly signed diversions will be in place and can be viewed at the bottom of this page.

    Upcoming M56 closures

    June – one overnight lane closure, westbound only

    On Monday 27 June, there will be an overnight lane closure, westbound from junction 11 of the M56. This will be in place between 9pm and 6am. One lane will be open for traffic, for around 4km.

    July – full overnight closures, westbound only

    We need to close the westbound carriageway of the M56 between junction 11 and 12, overnight, for four nights in July. There will also be an eastbound single lane closure for safety reasons, as a crane will be in operation.

    These dates are:

    • Monday 18 July, 9pm to 6am
    • Tuesday 19 July, 9pm to 6am
    • Wednesday 20 July, 9pm to 6am
    • Thursday 21 July, 9pm to 6am

  • 01 April 2022

    Temporary traffic lights removed from the A533 bridge

    A533

    The temporary two-way traffic lights that were in place on the A533 have now been removed.

    The signals were needed so we could work on the bridge, while maintaining two-way access for motorists.

    Our equipment is now positioned on a platform to the side of the road (as shown in the image below). This allows traffic to flow freely in both directions while we carry out the next phase of our work.

    Image showing how our equipment is now positioned on a platform to the side of the road.

    If you travel across the bridge, you’ll see piling rigs working during the day. These are drilling piles into both sides of the motorway and the central reservation, ready to support the new bridge.

    M56

    There are narrow lanes on the M56, between junction 11 and 12. These will remain in place until autumn, with three lanes open for traffic, in both directions.

    The reduced speed limit of 50mph will continue on the 2.4km stretch of the M56 to ensure safety is maintained for our operatives and road users.

  • 14 March 2022

    Temporary two-way traffic lights in place until the end of March

    A533

    The temporary two-way traffic lights on the A533 will remain in place until the end of March. This is slightly longer than planned and is a result of the storms last month. We apologise for any issues this may cause.

    The temporary signals are needed so that we can maintain a two-way access for motorists, while we work on the bridge. The following image shows how we're currently working.

    The image shows how two-way access for motorists is maintained while we work on the bridge

    When the work is finished later this month, we’ll position our equipment on a platform to the side of the road (as shown in the image below).

    This will allow traffic to flow freely in both directions, while we carry out the next phase of our work.

    Later this month, we'll be repositioning our equipment to the side of the road

    During peak-hours, we expect there to be some delays. Please allow additional time and check your journey before you travel.

    We’ve also closed one side of the footpath along the bridge. Pedestrians will be directed to the other side, ensuring access is maintained at all times.

    M56

    At the beginning of March, we installed narrow lanes on both sides of the M56, between junction 11 and 12.

    These narrow lanes will remain in place for around six months. Three lanes of traffic will remain open on the M56 in both directions, while the bridge pier is built in the central reservation.

    The reduced speed limit of 50mph will continue on the 2.4km stretch of the M56 to ensure safety is maintained for our operatives and road users.

  • 04 February 2022

    Temporary two-way traffic lights and upcoming closures

    As we progress our work, further traffic management is planned on the A533 Expressway Bridge, and the M56. Below is a breakdown of what is planned next:

    A533

    From 14 February for around four weeks, we plan to have temporary two-way traffic lights on the A533. This is to allow room for specialist equipment to be placed on the bridge, whilst also maintaining a two-way access for motorists. The equipment will be used to help install a retaining wall for the new bridge supports.

    During peak-hours, we expect there to be some delays. Please allow additional time and check your journey before travel. 

    Additionally, an overnight full closure is required to safety install the traffic lights and work site area. This will be in place on Sunday 13 February, between the hours of 10pm and 6am.

    We will also need to close one side of the footpath along the bridge. Pedestrians will be diverted to the other side ensuring access is maintained at all times.

    M56

    In March, we plan to install narrow lanes on both sides of the M56, between junction 11 and 12. To safely install the narrow lanes, overnight full closures will take place as follows:

    • M56 eastbound carriageway
      • from 9pm Thursday 3 March to 6am Friday 4 March
      • from 9pm Saturday 5 March to 6am Sunday 6 March
    • M56 westbound carriageway
      • From 9pm Friday 4 March to 6am Saturday 5 March
      • From 9pm Sunday 6 March to 6am Monday 7 March

    The narrow lanes will be in place for around six months. It will allow three lanes of traffic to remain open on the M56 in both directions, whilst the bridge pier is built in the central reservation. The reduced speed limit of 50mph will continue on the 2.4km stretch of the M56 to ensure safety is maintained for our operatives and road users.

  • 31 January 2022

    Overnight closure of A533 overbridge

    Tomorrow evening (1 February), we need to close part of the A533 to safely install a 125m barrier. This will be in place between the hours of 10pm and 5am. The closure will be on the eastbound side of the carriageway from Murdishaw roundabout heading towards Preston Brook. 

    Clear signed diversion routes will be in place, and for more information see diversion route maps below.

  • 21 December 2021

    Start of main construction work

    We’re pleased to announce that from Tuesday 4 January 2022, work to replace the A533 Expressway bridge will begin. Following the preparation work we undertook in November, we’re now moving into the main construction phase of the project.

    We plan to replace the existing structure with a new 67m two-span concrete bridge, consisting of a single two-lane carriageway and a combined footpath and cycleway. The replacement of this bridge will ensure an increased life span of over 120 years for road users, maintaining safety in the long term.

    Upcoming work

    Work to remove the topsoil and install the site compound will begin. This will be located on land to the south of Chester Road. In addition to this, we have provided a breakdown of upcoming activity planned on the Expressway bridge and the M56:

    A533 Expressway bridge – from 4 to 14 January, we plan to carry out some investigation work. This will be in place during off-peak hours between 9:30 and 15:30 on weekdays only. Our site team will use stop and go boards to carry out the work safely, while also maintaining access for motorists. We recommend you allow additional time and check your journey before travel.

    M56 – from Monday 10 January, we will have 24-hour traffic management in place on both sides of the M56 for safety. This will include placing a 2.4km stretch of reduced speed limit of 50mph, as well as installing a temporary barrier along the hard shoulder.

    To safely install the temporary barrier, safely we will need to have the following closures in place on the M56 between junctions 11 and 12 on the following weekends:

    Lane closures

    • Eastbound carriageway – from 9pm Friday 14 January to 11pm Sunday 16 January
    • Westbound carriageway – from 9pm Friday 21 January to 11pm Sunday 23 January

    Full closures

    • Eastbound carriageway – from 11pm Sunday 16 January to 6am Monday 17 January
    • Westbound carriageway – from 11pm Sunday 23 January to 6am Monday 24 January

    Whilst we always aim to work to our schedule, unforeseen circumstances such as severe weather conditions, may mean slight changes occur at short notice.

  • 15 November 2021

    Preparation work - change of closure dates

    Further to our update below (dated 19 October), due to resourcing issues we need to close the A533 Expressway Bridge for an extra day this week. This will take place on Wednesday 17 November, which we previously communicated was booked as a contingency only. This closure will be in place between 8pm and 6am. Diversion routes are available below. Please note that Thursday 18 November is also booked as a contingency closure.

    There has also been a small change to our planned two lane closure on the M56 westbound. This will now take place between 8pm and 6am on 17, 18 and 19 November. One lane will be open for traffic and running at normal speed. The same overnight lanes closures are also planned for the following week on 22, 23, 24 and 25 November.

  • 19 October 2021

    Preparation work starts next month

    On Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 November, we plan to carry out some preparation work as part of the A533 Expressway Bridge replacement scheme. This will include diverting communication cables and some vegetation clearance.

    We’ll need to close the A533 Expressway Bridge overnight in both directions to work on the signalling cables for safety. These closures will be in place between 8pm and 6am both nights. We also have overnight on Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 November booked as contingency closures only. Diversion routes will be in place, which are available below.

    During the same week, we’ll also need to close two lanes of the M56 westbound overnight. This will be between 8pm and 6am on 15, 16, 17 and 18 November. One lane will be open for traffic and running at normal speed. These overnight lanes closures will also be in place the following week on 22, 23, 24 and 25 November.

    What’s next?

    Over the coming weeks, we’ll start to build our new office on site. This will be on land to the south of Chester Road, where there may be a small increase in traffic due to our work vehicles moving around. We’ll be managing traffic to ensure everyone works in a safe manner.

  • 27 July 2020

    Compulsory Purchase and Side Roads Orders confirmed

    We’ve recently confirmed our Side Roads Order & Compulsory Purchase Order with the Department for Transport. These documents provide details on the proposed layout for the new bridge and all lands required as part of our construction works.

    Public notices which confirm these Orders have been published in a local newspaper and posted on the existing bridge. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic and current Government guidelines, we’re unable to deposit these documents for you to view at a local venue, but these are available within the documents tab on this webpage.

    We will now be working with our delivery partner, Amey Sir Robert McAlpine, to complete the detailed design of the new bridge, and prepare for the construction phase of this project.

Project information

Overview

The M56/A533 Expressway Bridge is a concrete bridge that carries the Chester Road combined with the A533 over the M56 motorway. The bridge is located between junctions 11 and 12 and is a vital local link, providing access across the M56 to Runcorn from Preston Brook and Northwich.

We plan to replace the existing structure with a new 67m two-span concrete bridge, consisting of a single two-lane carriageway and a combined footpath/cycleway. The replacement of this bridge will ensure an increased life span of over 120 years for road users, maintaining safety in the long term.

A substantial part of the project will be built off site to minimise disruption and we’ll keep the existing bridge open whilst we construct the new bridge. On completion, traffic will be transferred to the new structure to continue the flow of traffic and allow for the demolition of the exiting bridge structure.

The existing structure has reached the end of its serviceable life and therefore needs to be replaced to maintain and improve this important link for motorists, pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists.

The aims of the scheme are to:

  • design and build a replacement of the A533 Expressway Bridge
  • demolish and remove the existing A533 Expressway Bridge structure
  • reinstate the M56 motorway to its original state prior to implementation of the A533 Expressway Bridge propping scheme
  • ensure road users and the community are not adversely affected
  • improve accessibility for cyclists, walkers and other vulnerable road users of the local road network

Documents

Traffic information

Information about scheduled roadworks and events on our motorways and major roads.

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