The motorway was closed from 9pm on Friday 10th January until 11pm the following night so that a crew of 80 could demolish Nan’s Nook footbridge. The bridge linked Greaves Hill Lane and Guys Farm Activity Centre near Forton.
The motorway closure, between junctions 32 and 33, had been scheduled to last until 5am on Monday but civil engineering contractor AE Yates, working with HW Martin, Huyton Asphalt and Jointline, got the job done more than a day early.
The 320-tonne post tensioned concrete bridge – 62 metres long and 2.4 metres wide – sat on concrete pillars. It was removed for safety reasons as parts of it were too low for some modern vehicles and it had only remained open with hard shoulder restrictions beneath it.
Three 36-tonne excavators with pulverisers were put to work and 16 wagon loads of spoil were removed. More than 300 tonnes of concrete was removed from the site and will be recycled into building sub-base materials. All the metal in the reinforcement bar and pedestrian hand rails will be recycled too.
Highways England project manager Chris Riley said: “Closing the motorway is not something we do without a great deal of thought and careful planning but it was the only way we could remove the bridge safely. We promised to re-open the motorway as soon as possible and in the end we did that more than 24 hours earlier than scheduled.”