Six huge steel beams will be lifted in place across the A50 next month to form the base for a new bridge spanning the dual carriageway.
The installation near Uttoxeter will be a major step towards completing an upgraded junction with the A522 to support business and unlock land for new housing and economic growth.
A 750 tonne crane will be positioned on the A50 carriageway to lift the 47-metre long beams, each weighing approximately 45 tonnes, into place.
To allow the work to be carried out as quickly and safely as possible, the A50 will be closed in both directions from 8pm on Friday, 7 July until 5.30am on Monday, 10 July.
The closure will be between the A521 roundabout at Blythe Bridge and the B5030 roundabout at Uttoxeter, where McDonald’s stands.
Advance notices will be put in place by Highways England on its wider A-road and motorway network to encourage traffic to take alternative routes and signposted diversions will be in place, suitable for all vehicles including HGVs.
The diversion route will be the same for vehicles travelling in both directions. From the east, traffic will be diverted northwards from the A50 at Uttoxeter on to the B5030 for a few hundred yards to the roundabout with the A518. Traffic will turn right there, cross back over the A50 along The Dove Way and continue on the A518 clockwise around Uttoxeter and follow the road towards Stafford. Vehicles will then follow the A51 and A34 towards Stoke-on-Trent, before joining the A500 and then the A50 to Blythe Bridge.
The project is being delivered by Staffordshire County Council on behalf of Highways England.
Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Economic Growth, said:
This is a major piece of civil engineering work which will benefit the residents of Uttoxeter and improve road connections across the Midlands.
The bridge installation must be done safely, but we will do the work as quickly as good practice allows.
We’ve already sought to minimise any inconvenience by doing much of the preparatory work overnight.
We’ve successfully taken delivery of all the beams last week and there will be one more round of overnight closures on five consecutive nights from Monday, 19 June to Friday, 23 June to allow safety equipment to be fitted to the beams.”
Those overnight closures in June will also be between the A521 roundabout at Blythe Bridge and the B5030 roundabout at Uttoxeter and will be westbound only. Those closures will be between 8pm and 5.30 am and the eastbound carriage will remain open at all times.
The diversion route will be the same as the weekend closure and will be signposted, while Highways England will again be warning of the diversion on its wider network.
The Shell petrol station, which stands on the westbound carriageway a few hundred yards west of the B5030 roundabout, will open as normal and access will be maintained at all times via the A522.
Mark Winnington said:
I would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding while this major project takes shape.
Regarding the weekend closure we are doing all we can to encourage traffic to avoid the area, but it might be worth allowing a little extra time for local journeys.”
The A50 is the most important transport link between the East and West Midlands and the planned improvements will also benefit major employers and their employees between Staffordshire and Derbyshire, making journeys quicker, easier and safer.