M56 Thorley Lane Scheme

Project status:   Current
Region:  North West

Start date:   May 2014
End date:  March 2015

Type:   Improvement Scheme
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Improvement Scheme

Part of our programme of improvements (generally with value <£10m)

Cost:  £5.5 million

Managed by:   Area 10


What is happening?

Thorley Lane bridge has been replaced with a new, wider structure that will carry local road traffic as the old bridge was no longer fit for purpose.

These works are part of the national Pinch Point Programme.  The Pinch Point Programme forms part of the UK Government's growth initiative, outlined during the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in November 2011.

When and where is this happening?

The construction started in May 2014 and will finish in March 2015.

Thorley Lane bridge is located over the M56 at junction 5 the exit for Manchester Airport.

Why is this happening and what will it cost?

The former bridge had weakened with age and was no longer fit for purpose with a weihjt restriction on lorries, limiting traffic numbers.

The estimated cost is £5.5 million.

How will the scheme be carried out?

The scheme was carried out in phases to minimise disruption to residents, businesses and the travelling public.

The original bridge and the pier in the central reservation were demolished, the central pier reconstructed and the bridge supports either side of the motorway rebuilt and the new bridge deck was constructed and installed.  All that now remains is finishing works to the bridge.

What are the benefits?

As part of the Pinch Point Programme, this scheme will:

  • improve safety by removing the current weight restrictions on the road network in the area
  • boost the economy by removing traffic diversions necessitated by the weak bridge.


How do I find out more information ?

More information will be posted on this project page as it becomes available. You can subscribe to be alerted when updates are made.

If you have any queries about this project you should contact the Highways Agency Information Line by emailing ha_​info@​highways.​gsi.​gov.​uk or calling 0300 123 5000.

Details of scheduled roadworks are provided to help you plan your journey. Please note that works are weather- and resource- dependent and may need to be cancelled at short notice. This information is not updated in real time so please check Traffic England for current traffic conditions. Diversion timings are approximate and act as a guide only.

Will there be roadworks?

Yes, Thorley Lane will be closed to through traffic during the works.


How will you manage traffic?

Traffic managemant in the form of lane closures on the slip roads may be required to deliver the finishing works to the new bridge.

Will there be diversions?

Clearly signed diversion routes will be in place during the closures of Thorley Lane.