New A45 pedestrian footbridge opens as part of our M42 junction 6 upgrade
09 Jan 2023
Pedestrians and cyclists can now benefit from a new footbridge while crossing the busy A45 in Solihull thanks to National Highways.
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The bridge – spanning almost 60m – was lifted into place in May 2022 with access ramps installed either side of the structure in October 2022. It forms part of our £282m upgrade to M42 junction 6 which once complete, will alleviate congestion for motorists and support future economic growth.
National Highways Senior Project Manager, Leyton Rahman, said: “We’re keen to make sure that this scheme benefits the local community as well as motorists and this new footbridge will make crossing the A45 much safer and easier for pedestrians and cyclists.
“The opening of the footbridge is a key milestone in the project and we’re making good progress on the upgrade of junction 6, which once complete will make journeys much smoother for motorists.”
Previously, pedestrians and cyclists had to cross the road at the busy and congested Clock Interchange roundabout. Local resident, Philip Clover, reflected on the impact of the new bridge, explaining it’ll provide him with a much safer and quicker route to work:
“[A safer crossing is] brilliant for everyone and especially anyone with limited mobility. The footbridge can open us up further to our neighbours and the outside world.”
Skanska sub agent Esther Redpath oversaw the construction of the bridge, and she’s really excited about the benefits it will bring. She said:
“This bridge provides a safer route for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the A45. We have some local residents who are excited to take their grandchildren across the bridge to reach the station and go for a day out.”
Building the bridge wasn’t without its challenges, but it’s been a fulfilling project. Esther, who has been involved in the construction of the bridge since the start, explained:
“My primary focus was always to get the bridge built safely. One of the key challenges we faced was the proximity of the bridge to the West Coast Mainline Railway. Once we fully understood the requirements for working near the railway, we had to rethink how to lift the bridge into place to ensure we didn’t risk damaging any railway infrastructure. We overcame this by working collaboratively with our supply chain, who were able to help us navigate the safety requirements for the railway.
“My proudest moment has to be seeing the main deck get lifted into place across the A45. There had been a huge amount of preparation leading up to the night shift, but the night itself went very quickly.”
With some minor finishing work still to be completed, crossing the A45 will now be much safer and easier. The bridge will improve access from Bickenhill Village and Catherine de Barnes Lane to the south, connecting residents to Birmingham International Airport and railway station, the NEC, Trinity Park and other businesses to the north.
For more information on the scheme, visit our webpage at: https://nationalhighways.co.uk/our-work/west-midlands/m42-junction-6/