NuGen Properties

Armac accelerates M42 bridge demolition

Speedy work got the motorway reopened in just 42 hours instead of the planned 56

A team of 20 demolition experts and 10 excavators removed the 40-metre long, 10-metre wide bridge during a planned 56 hour closure of the M42 motorway.

Armac Demolition removed the two-span bridge for main contractor Balfour Beatty Vinci (BBV) to clear the way for the HS2 railway near the Interchange Station construction site in Solihull.

The 4,000-tonne structure was cleared by eight 50-tonne excavators and two 40-tonne excavators, supported by six articulated dump trucks, which hauled the waste to a local stockpile for crushing and recycling on HS2’s haul roads and working areas.

The whole job was completed sooner than anticipated, which meant the M42 could be reopened 14 hours ahead of schedule, shortening the closure to 42 hours and reducing disruption to road users.

The bridge, which carried the A452 over the M42, was removed to allow for a new twin box structure to be constructed, which will carry HS2 over the motorway. HS2 has built a new road structure and roundabout that now carries the A452, and in future will also enable access to the new HS2 Interchange Station.

The M42 was closed at 00.25 on Saturday 12th August. A team of 30 people removed the barriers and laid down protective matting. The 20-strong demolition team then moved in to remove the bridge deck, wing walls, central pier and abutments between 07.30 and 17.00 on Saturday 12th August.

The matting was removed, carriageway cleaned, and central reservation and verge restraint systems reinstated, ready for the motorway to be re-opened at 15.00 on Sunday 13th August.

BBV construction director Oliver Shore said: “It is through relentless collaboration with HS2 and National Highways that we have achieved this latest milestone in less than two days, overcoming technical and logistical challenges along the way.”

Armac has two more bridge demolition projects ahead for BBV. Armac Demolition technical director Noel McLean said: “The detailed planning that had been put into the project over the last 12 months by BBV and Armac resulted in an excellent performance over the weekend. A safely executed project, completed well ahead of the closure schedule, and not a single mark on the carriageway. Great performance by all involved – looking forward to the next one.”

The demolition of the bridge paves the way for the next phase of works – construction of a 300-metre-long, 25-metre-wide twin box structure that will carry the railway over the motorway. It will cover around 130 metres of the M42 and will be built in position while maintaining three lanes of traffic flowing on the M42.

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