IN PICTURES: AmeySRM JV lead 18-month M56 bridge replacement


A complex motorway improvement scheme spanning 18 months and costing £27 million is nearing completion.  

Credit: National Highways.

National Highways’ A533 (M56) Expressway Bridge Replacement Scheme in Cheshire saw months of collaboration between dozens of firms move forward this week.  

Around 20 companies, including AmeySRM JV, have been appointed to the new bridge programme between Junction 11 and Junction 12 of the M56 near Runcorn. 


The most recent phase of works saw the controlled demolition of the old A533 Expressway bridge completed this weekend, using innovative safety and road preservation methods. 

Firms deployed metal shipping containers under the bridge to help break the fall of its heavy beams and to protect the M56 carriageway so it could open again on Monday morning. 

The motorway had to be closed in both directions early on Friday (12 May) until 6am this morning (15 May) so Manchester demolition contractor PP O’Connor could carry out the delicate operation for AmeySRM.  

PP O’Connor specialises in civil engineering, bulk earthworks, remediation, complex demolition and deconstruction, sustainable disposal and aggregate supply, and has a new minor construction works division for full construction from conception to completion. 

“Our last key milestone is the demolition of the old bridge structure,” said National Highways. 

All beams were down, and the demolition of the west abutment was more than 50% complete, by 8am on Sunday.  

Clean-up involved more than 50 loads of waste material being moved from site to the compound.  

The total removal of the old bridge, plus associated works along the M56, will be completed next weekend, said National Highways. 

As part of the wider programme of replacement works, a new bridge was recently built and completed in April alongside the old one.  

Both run parallel to the London to Liverpool West Coast mainline which also crosses the M56 and which teams had to work around. 

Delivery team 

  • Amey  
  • Sir Robert McAlpine   
  • Huyton Civils (road construction) 
  • Huyton Asphalt (surfacing) 
  • McCann (civil and electrical engineering) 
  • MPB Structures (concrete)  
  • PP O’Connor (demolition) 
  • Sarens (heavy lift transport) 
  • Asset International Structures (infrastructure) 
  • Bauer Foundation (construction) 
  • Briton Fabricators (steel solutions) 
  • Egerton Recovery (towing services) 
  • Ekspan (engineering) 
  • L&R Roadlines (road markings) 
  • Ainsty Timber Merchants 
  • Jepotik 
  • Versco 
  • Virtus 

“The total scheme cost is £27 million and will have taken 18 months by the end of next weekend’s (21 May) full motorway closure,” a National Highways spokesperson said. “This weekend’s work went well and is ahead of schedule with some of next weekend’s planned work already underway.   

“By 8am Sunday all beams were down, and the demolition of the west abutment was over 50% completed. Clean-up of the site involved over 50 loads of waste already being moved from site into the compound.” 

Adding: “One interesting feature of the work was to deploy shipping containers under the bridge to help break the fall of bridge beams and help protect the carriageway.” 

Enjoyed this? Try £1.3bn Trans-Pennine project is ‘biggest challenge to date’ – RSK 

Get industry news in 5 minutes!

A daily email that makes industry news enjoyable. It’s completely free.