Unique footage shows the size and scale of the work to successfully lay the foundations of a new bridge across one of Britain’s busiest A-roads.
The time lapse photography shows the delicate operation to place six steel beams, each 47 metres long and weighing 45 tonnes apiece, across the A50 dual carriageway at Uttoxeter.
Preparations have been underway for weeks to condense the necessary work into one weekend to minimise inconvenience for motorists and nearby residents.
The project is being delivered by Staffordshire County Council on behalf on Highways England and is part of an upgraded junction with the A522, which also includes three new roundabouts, to support business and unlock land for new housing and economic growth.
Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Jobs and Growth, said:
It’s easy to take highly skilled work such as this for granted, but we’re talking about tolerance levels in millimetres and the photography shows how delicate and painstaking the work must be.
It’s a credit to everyone involved how quickly, safely and smoothly the weekend’s work went.”
Work began as soon as the A50 was closed in both directions at 8pm on Friday July 7, with a 750 tonne crane lifting each of the steel beams into position and continued through the weekend until the early hours of Monday July 10, with the road reopening before the rush hour.
Now that the road is reopened work will continue to build up the embankments either side of the A50 and to lay concrete on the bridge beams. Both the A50 and the A522 will be unaffected.
Mark Winnington said:
This has been a major piece of work which will benefit the residents of Uttoxeter and improve road connections across the Midlands.
I’d like to thank residents and motorists for their patience and understanding.”
The A50 is the most important transport link between the West and East Midlands and the planned improvements will also benefit major employers and their employees between Staffordshire and Derbyshire, making journeys quicker, easier and safer.
The work to build a bridge, three roundabouts and realign part of the A522 covers is being carried out across almost 20 hectares. As well as using 170,000 cubic metres of recycled material to create the embankments, by the end of the work in 2018 3,000 metres of replacement hedgerow will be planted.